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For over 700 years, the Grimaldi dynasty has left an indelible mark on nearly 150 areas of France and Italy, from Alsace to Sicily.

On the night of 8 January 1297, François Grimaldi, alias “Malizia”, hid weapons under a Friar’s robe and sneaked into Monaco castle by asking the Genoese guards watching over the palace for shelter… From here, the reign of the Grimaldi dynasty began. Over the centuries, this family forged links with many French and Italian regions. Through diplomatic agreements or matrimonial alliances, the Princes of Monaco are still today Duke of Valentinois, Marquis of Baux, Count of Carladès, Baron of Saint-Lô, of Hambye, and Count of Longjumeau.

In all, nearly 150 areas are linked to the Grimaldi family. Such as Matignon in the Cotes d’Armor, where the Prince of Monaco still bears the title, The Sire of Matignon. In 1715, Hereditary Princess Louise-Hippolyte, daughter of Prince Antoine I of Monaco, married Jacques IV de Goyon-Matignon, who reigned in Monaco under the name of Jacques I. The French Prime Minister’s residence in Paris, the Hôtel de Matignon, keeps the name of this family of Breton and Norman origin alive.

Prince Albert II of Monaco regularly visits these “ancient fiefdoms” of the Grimaldi dynasty to maintain a strong bond with these communities. And since 2018, the Principality has hosted their representatives every June at the “Meeting of Historical Sites of the Grimaldis of Monaco”. This friendly event provides an opportunity to showcase their cultural, artisanal, folkloric and gastronomic heritage at the Place du Palais.

In 2023, the 4th Meeting of Historical Sites of the Grimaldis of Monaco will welcome municipalities from Haut-Rhin, Lot-et-Garonne, Pyrénées-Orientales and Alpes-Maritimes (such as Grasse or Île Saint-Honorat). And, of course, Monaco’s Corsican “twin”, Lucciana, which shares the legend of Devota. The Corsican virgin was martyred around 304 A.D. in Lucciana, and her body, placed on a boat by fishermen, washed up on Monaco’s shores on 27 January.

This year, the meeting of the Historical Sites of the Grimaldis will return to Port Hercule. A new craft market will showcase the work of professionals with the “Grimaldi Historic Sites of Monaco” seal. This certified label rewards local food and craft production in these regions, and can also include a local product, a local gastronomic speciality or an element of intangible culture that clearly identifies an “ancient fiefdom” of the Grimaldis.

In addition, Prince Albert II has officially launched the Federation of Grimaldi Historic Sites of Monaco, by inviting some sixty mayors of the French and Italian municipalities in this network to the Prince’s Palace. “I’d like to see even greater promotion and enhancement of tourism, cultural exchanges and even co-productions, if there’s a shared interest. Beyond heritage and living culture, certain sectors of the economy will also benefit from our cooperation”, declared the Head of State, President of this federation.

Learn more : https://www.rencontresgrimaldi.com