Monte Carlo, Monaco and Nice, France

Although it is less than a square mile in size, Monaco is a sovereign state.  It is that same smallness which lends so much charm to the sun-washed principality.

The ancient Phoenicians were the first to build here.  They built a temple on the headland now occupied by the Old City of Monaco. The Greeks later expanded the temple and dedicated it to Heracles, whom they nicknamed “Monoikos,” the name Monaco has been using ever since.  The entire Riviera coast came under the sway of the Republic of Genoa and the Grimaldi family staked out an interest in Monaco as early as 968.  The Genoese built their first significant fort there in 1215.