Assouline’s Travel Series books are, for good reason, an iconic staple of any graceful coffee table. Valuing beauty, craftsmanship and meticulous research in equal measure, these bright volumes transport readers to some of the world’s most remarkable destinations through immersive explorations of landscape and culture.
The publisher’s latest edition, Monte Carlo, is no different. Author Ségolène Cazenave Manara has carefully composed a mélange of over 250 photographs, reaching beyond the cliché of unfettered opulence to reveal a rich patchwork of the histories and identities that make up Monaco today.
Beyond the optics of the cars, the superyachts and the parties, the volume asks a gripping question: why did so many of the world’s high-flyers and stars flock to Monaco throughout the last century? And why do they continue to flock today? Through a series of joyful archival and contemporary images, Monte Carlo is revealed as a free-thinking, tranquil refuge – a place of inspiration, creation, drama and spontaneity.
The book deliberately refrains from any kind of chronology, instead weaving a gradual portrait of Monte Carlo by blending photographs old and new. Images of Grace Kelly and the historic properties of the Société des Bains de Mer—Monte Carlo Casino, Hôtel de Paris, Monte Carlo Beach—sit comfortably next to sharp, modern photography from the Monaco Grand Prix and the Monte-Carlo Masters.
The volume also artfully contrasts Monaco’s architectural landscape, from the Nouveau Musée National and the newly designed Foster + Partners Yacht Club to the twelfth century Prince's Palace of Monaco and the baroque Musée Océanographique. These buildings—juxtaposed in Monte Carlo's skyline and across the book—tell the story of a deep and varied heritage packed into just two hundred hectares of land.
With a foreword written by H.S.H. Prince Albert II and exclusive images from the palace archives dotted throughout, Assouline's Monte Carlo is a stunning exposition of how this tiny principality came to be defined by such magnetism and allure.
Assouline Publishing was founded in Paris in 1994 by Prosper and Martine Assouline, driven by the desire to create a new, contemporary style of book that marries luxury and culture. Over the past quarter-century, Assouline has expanded its vision to encompass a collection of 1,700 titles across three main collections. The brand's international boutiques, strategically located in prominent destinations worldwide, have become havens for culture enthusiasts seeking exquisitely-crafted volumes.
Maison Assouline – the luxury publisher’s global flagship store in Piccadilly – has an onsite bar, Swans Bar, which has crafted up a cocktail menu inspired by its famed Travel series. Here, visitors can expect chic library ambiance – filled with the publisher’s books – tempered by a romantic dose of vintage nostalgia, provided through carefully curated jazz music, a glimmering back bar and bartenders in classic white blazers.
Visit the Assouline website or Maison Assouline in Piccadilly to purchase your copy of Monte Carlo.