In last week’s My Monaco Questionnaire, Edwige Bruner said that Monaco’s hidden gems are its residents. An excellent example of this is Prince Michel of Yugoslavia, who kindly sat down with me to answer my questions this week. Of extraordinary lineage of kings and queens going back centuries, Prince Michel is the grandson of Umberto II, the last King of Italy on one side, and Prince Paul the last Regent of Yugoslavia, on the other. Now a Monaco resident, Michel pursues his passion for photography here where he finds inspiration in the colours of the landscape and the “luminosity of the coast”.
During last year’s lockdown, Prince Michel struck out early in the mornings to capture the surreal emptiness of Monaco. This photo series is currently on exhibit at Banque Havilland and more of his work can be found on his website, https://www.princemicheldeyougoslavie.com/
and on Instagram, @princemicheldeyugoslavie.
I get my morning coffee and croissant here
I normally have breakfast at home, but if I have a breakfast meeting, I like to go to Mada One. They have a nice menu and good people. I’m a tea drinker and prefer salty things in the morning, plus a bit of fruit.
My favourite lunch spot
I really enjoy the Pacific, especially because the chef is Serbian, so I can practice speaking Serbian with her. Their fish and meat are always fresh and well prepared.
Best Friday night aperitif
I don’t drink, so I don’t have a good answer for this. I suppose if you want to meet people out at night, the Bar Amerícain is a good place.
Annual event I never miss
I’m not really a creature of habit… but I enjoy the art exhibits at the Grimaldi Forum. There are always great shows; recently the Egyptian jewellery one, the Dali retrospective, and the Picasso one a few years ago.
Favourite time of year in the Principality
In a way, I like it now, before or after the summer. It is quiet and peaceful.
My best Monaco workout
I like to walk and we are so lucky here with so many places to explore. I really enjoy all the levels of altitude in Monaco and the surrounding area. I love to walk around Le Rocher, to Fort St Antoine, then down to the port and then over to take the steps by St Devote. You can go all the way to Beausoleil, almost a thousand steps up. It’s a great work out.
Where I go/what I do for “me time”
“Me time” is when I go around with my camera. It always depends on the light. It is usually early in the morning or late afternoon, sometimes to the harbour, or in the mountains. I am always looking for new perspectives. Recently I trained to do portraits, so I started just stopping people on the street and asking if I could take their picture. I also like to meditate. And, just to turn off my phone for a while gives a much needed respite.
My go to shop for last minute gifts
I suppose Fnac, because there is a big choice and I like to give books as gifts. Otherwise, a nice bunch of flowers from the market.
A hidden gem I’m willing to share
For me, the market (Marché Condamine) is a gem and you can go as early as 5am. I just love it.
There is also a little stairway on the side of the road to the Palace that leads to a tiny little forest with a lovely fountain.
Best day trip out of town
Over to Eze, or I like to go to Italy, to all those beautiful 14th century villages like Apricale and Dolce Aqua. The mountains are great and there is good food everywhere.
The one thing I would change about Monaco if I could
Can I change two things? First, all the motorbikes that make so much noise. They need quieter engines. And can people please clean up after their dogs? There should be doggy cams. That is what I would change.
The Shout Out
I have just had an exhibition at a new gallery called The Circle, https://www.thecirclemonaco.com/ where the idea is to come and have conversations about art.
And I get my olive oil from www.alesyademonaco.com
I can also recommend the dry cleaner, Pure. http://www.purelaundryspa.mc/about/. They do a very good job.
Thank you, Prince Michel for sharing your Monaco!
One of Prince Michel’s photographs: