I wanted to check out the Casino just to get a sense of the place as a location my character might visit. Architecturally it’s over the top theatrical, having been built in the mid-1850s but inside it’s the same story as most other casinos – not that interesting apart from the setting.
The first salon is full of video gaming machines but the second has traditional gaming tables but these are the only two rooms accessible by the public. This is a temple built by the rich for the rich and, as it is everywhere, high-rollers don’t have to rub shoulders with the riff-raff.
During my last visit Monte Carlo seemed like a magical little town (Princess Grace was still alive then) but time hasn’t treated it well. There are huge blocks of ugly flats and a racetrack of winding roads that makes it difficult to walk anywhere without risk of being flattened by a Porsche SVU. Every second woman had an animal pelt on her back, lynx, mink and more. Not a good vibe.
Although it was helpful to see inside the casino, my last visit was probably a better indication of what it would have been like in the 1950s. No photos are allowed inside, as you can see from this shot I had to hide behind a column!