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Monaco Through G.E.M.’s Eyes

June 22, 2020 Visit Europe No Comments Email Email

Set entirely in the Principality of Monaco, G.E.M.’s brand new music video “Unreachable” was recently released and has attained new heights for an artist famous for already reaching the 100 million views milestone thrice in the course of her young career. To shoot the video of “Unreachable” and to capture the dreamy atmosphere of the song, G.E.M. and her team specially flew to Monaco last September, at the time of the Monaco Yacht Show. As part of the video, G.E.M. had access to money-can’t-buy experiences including riding a Riva yacht in Monaco’s pristine waters, standing on the grand stage of the Opera de Monte-Carlo and even
entering the mythical Villa “La Vigie” – former residence of legendary fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld – which left a deep impression on her. Despite having been with the crew through many landmark places of Monaco and having shot several scenes under the scorching sun, in a subsequent interview for TV “Monaco Now”, G.E.M. remains unfazed, saying, “This is the way life should be!”

Monaco landmarks in the music video
The music video opens with a scene of a Riva yacht. Renowned today as “the RollsRoyce of the yacht industry” Riva goes back to 1842 in Italy’s Como Lake and has accumulated a prestigious history, which, since the 1950s, has been written from Monaco where the brand is based. Riva is one of the oldest, most legendary, and most prestigious yacht brands in the world, synonym of the “Dolce Vita” which characterises the Riviera and Monaco as its crown’s jewel. Rivas have always been the pleasure craft of choice for stars like George Clooney, Sean Connery, Sophia Loren or Brigitte Bardot, it was only natural that GEM would wish to feature in one when shooting “Unreachable” in Monaco.

Another special experience featured in the music video, is when G.E.M. steps onto the grand stage of the Opera de Monte-Carlo for the first time. While the multiawarded Mandarin singer-songwriter has had her share of large-scale concerts, having the chance to stand on this remarkable stage was still an incredibly exciting experience for her. The Opera de Monte-Carlo is a famous landmark in Monaco, rich in architectural and cultural heritage and was designed by Charles Garnier in
Monaco, after his initial Paris-built Opera House. In 1879, famous French actor Sarah Bernhardt inaugurated its stage and various notable repertoires have been  created and staged there including – more recently – the Monte-Carlo Jazz Festival and one-off performances from artists such as Prince, Lionel Richie or James Bond’s themes icon interpreter Dame Shirley Bassey.

Another less well-known but no less iconic landmark of Monaco which features in many sequences of the music video is the pristine white villa “La Vigie” that sits on a headland above Monte-Carlo Beach Hotel, with unobstructed panoramic views over the bay of Monaco to the west, and the Roquebrune-Cap-Martin peninsula to the east. Built in 1902 by an English Baron, The Villa “La Vigie” was acquired in 1952 by Monaco’s powerhouse Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer. It is easily one of the most prestigious Private Villas on the French Riviera. From 1986 to 2000 it was
occupied by legendary fashion icon and designer Karl Lagerfeld who famously said, “I detest rich people who live below their financial means”. Indeed, a USD$100,000 price tag is what it takes to occupy the villa for one week.

In her interview, we asked G.E.M. how she relates Monaco with beauty, an association made obvious in her “Unreachable” music video. The dreamy-voiced songstress was quick to quip: “Two, three years ago, on my first visit here, my first impression then was ‘Oh my god, this is so beautiful!’ The sea, the sky, everything is beautiful. Since that visit, I really hoped that places around the world could be as gorgeous as Monaco. And I feel it is possible to achieve, if we all put in some effort
together, to keep places clean, protect our natural environment, we can make every place as beautiful as Monaco.”

As she reminisces the impressions Monaco has left on her from the trip, G.E.M. also expresses that “(Monaco) is a great place for vacation”, recommending it in particular to people who enjoy beautiful scenery and taking picturesque shots.

Although Monte-Carlo where G.E.M. was accommodated (the district which since 1864 has made Monaco “the playground for the rich and famous”) usually comes first as an answer to such questions, G.E.M. points at the Prince’s Palace and at the Cathedral of Monaco as notable places of visit. She took a special shine to Monaco city aka ‘Le Rocher’ and its various pedestrian streets and alleyways, and found these particularly charming. They also featured on several occasions in the video.

Indeed, every corner of Monaco is steeped in history. The old town, located on the rock, dates back to 1297. Visitors can buy tickets to enter the Prince’s Palace of Monaco to explore the various halls, including the throne room with a portrait of the late Prince. One can learn about the history of the Prince’s Palace and the stories behind each hall through a 40-minute self-guided audio tour. In addition to the popular Oceanographic Museum of Monaco, the nearby Cathedral of Monaco is also another beautiful landmark, where Prince Rainier III and his wife Princess Grace lie,
as well as all the Princes and Princesses of Monaco since the late XIXth century. A few more steps from there is all it takes to reach La Chocolaterie de Monaco, one of Monaco’s oldest confectioneries, where you can pick up handmade Monegasquethemed chocolates and premium loose-leaf teas to bring home for friends and family.

Don’t miss the opportunity to visit Monaco for yourself and step into the scenic landmarks as depicted in G.E.M.’s new music video when it is safe to travel again.

For now, enjoy a slice of vicarious travel through the screens, as we take in G.E.M.’s beautiful voice and imagine being in Monaco from afar. Monaco waits for you.

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