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“Let the festivities begin!” Prince Albert II launches 5th Grimaldi Historic Sites gathering

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Prince Albert II during his inauguration speech at the 5th Grimaldi Historical Sites gathering © Monaco Tribune/ Théo Briand

Screened on the walls of the Prince’s Palace on Saturday June 15, a film told the story of the ties between the participating municipalities and the Grimaldi Dynasty.

There was a festive atmosphere on the Place du Palais in Monaco this weekend. The 5th edition of the Rencontres des Sites Historiques Grimaldi (Grimaldi Historic Sites gatherings) brought together cities and towns that proudly share a common heritage. It’s a unique opportunity to discover the cultural and gastronomic wealth of these predominantly Italian but also French territories, which are united through centuries of history and especially the Grimaldi Family.

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Small signs described each municipality’s special link with the Princely Family. For example, seven municipalities in Basilicata, Puglia and Campania were granted by Charles V to Prince Honoré I when the Principality came under the protection of the Spanish Empire in the early 16th century.

And to honour the memory of Charles V, Prince Albert II personally handed the attending mayors a plaque and a commemorative €2 with the effigy of the Spanish Emperor.

Prior to that, the Sovereign was keen to launch the new edition, stressing the importance of this “unique cultural and gastronomic network.” The Prince then spoke in Italian, acknowledging in particular “the daily contribution of cross-border workers to the Monegasque economy.” And after those few words in Italian, the Prince concluded: “Let the festivities begin!” 

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Prince Albert II surrounded by the mayors and representatives of the municipalities present © Monaco Tribune / Théo Briand

Tastings and entertainment

The municipalities had brought a myriad of producer and artisan exhibitors to share their flavours and expertise with the visitors. Dedicated artisans from Bathernay, Breil-sur-Roya, Airole, Olivetta, Spinazzola, Poggiorsini and many others enthusiastically shared their local treasures: local produce, art works and traditional crafts.

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A folkloric show at the 5th Grimaldi Historical Sites gathering © Monaco Tribune/ Théo Briand

Prince Albert II arrived at 10.30 am and happily spent hours talking with all the elected officials and exhibitors who made the trip to the Place du Palais to meet up with other members of the big Grimaldi Historic Sites family.

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The Sovereign visited the stands and greeted the exhibitors © Monaco Tribune / Théo Briand

Concerts and shows filled the square with life, honouring the musical and folk traditions of the different towns. At 10 pm a sound and light show took the audience on a journey through the centuries, retracing the impressive history of the Grimaldi Historic Sites.

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