Powered by

Sport & Glamour in Monte-Carlo

In only a few short years, the annual Monte-Carlo Polo Cup championship event has made its mark on both polo and social calendars

By Dina Spahi, Photos By Monte Carlo Polo Club

The small Principality of Monaco has always lived large and in grand style, from its Royal family to its jet-set crowd, and from its famous Casino to its azure seas twinkling with mega yachts. It was therefore only a matter of time that the most exclusive of sports would find a home in this dazzling Mediterranean destination.Founded in 2013 by Francesco Mitrano, The Monte-Carlo Polo Club has become a formidable platform through which interest in polo in Monaco has grown beyond the Principality. In addition to setting up the first and only polo club in Monaco, Mr Mitrano is also the founder of the Fédération de Polo de la Principauté de Monaco as well as the International Monte-Carlo Polo Cup. This annual championship event is a highlight on social calendars as it brings together a veritable who’s who list of international celebrities from the worlds of sport, fashion, business and art for 3 days of high-intensity sportsmanship, along with parades, after-parties, gala dinners, fashion shows, and further opportunities to rub shoulders with the VIP crowd.

Prince Albert II (center) with Charlene of Monaco and Francesco Mitrano

A passion for polo
Held under the high patronage of H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco, the Monte-Carlo Polo Cup has in a few short years grown to become one of the biggest and most spectacular international polo events. And the force behind this drive to make Monaco a formidable member in the global Polo arena is the charming Italian businessman and sportsman Francesco Mitrano, who is himself captain of the Monte-Carlo Polo Club Team and adds his own touch of elegance to the game. Mr Mitrano is originally from Tuscany, where he owns an estate surrounded by acres of land, and where he produces wine and olive oil. As comfortable and elegant in a polo uniform as in a three-piece suit, he is happy and proud to call Monaco his home, where his vision for the elite sport and his natural affinity for the glamorous merge beautifully.

Hailing from a family of equestrians, Mr Mitrano began riding competitively at the age of seven, quickly progressing to obstacle jumps. He left the equestrian world for a while as he pursued his studies in Business and Administration, before heading to Boston in the United States, and finally returning full circle to Europe where he lived in Paris, Florence, Stockholm and London. It was while in Florence that his passion for polo began, thanks to none other than the nephew of celebrated designer Salvatore Ferragamo, who was the creator and one of the Board Members of the Florence Polo Club and introduced Mr Francesco Mitrano to the sport. It was truly love at first sight, as Mr Mitrano travelled to Argentina for several months to better hone his skills amongst the best before returning to Europe to continue to train and play at the beautiful Villa a Sesta Polo Club very near his property in Tuscany, San Giusto.

Now, Francesco Mitrano wants to make Monte-Carlo Polo Cup an international brand. He started realising his strategy with the first event abroad – Eco Estrela Monte-Carlo Polo Cup in Indaiatuba, Brazil, on 28 April 2018.

A championship event
This year, from 4 to 7 October, The Monte-Carlo Polo Cup 2018 will see four teams with players from around the world compete for the prestigious trophy. The 8/10-goal tournament, held at Domaine de Vire-Vent in Saint-Martin de Peille up in the beautiful hills of Monaco, will be inaugurated with the traditional Chevalier parade on Casino Square in the heart of Monte-Carlo where the lucky ones can watch the procession from the terraces of the legendary Hôtel de Paris. The parade marks the start of three days of sport and festivities, including cocktail parties every day after the games, fashion shows, the traditional hat competition, and the charity beachside gala dinner. For lovers of polo, sportsmanship, glamour and fun set in the stunning mountains atop Monaco and along the Riviera coastline – this is one event not to be missed.

Schedule of events

for The Monte-Carlo Polo Cup 2018
4 to 7 October, Domaine de Vire-Vent, Saint-Martin de Peille
Thursday 4th
 Press conference at the Salle Medecin
at Casino Monte-Carlo
 Presentation teams –
Cocktail at Casino Monte-Carlo

Friday 5th
 VIP cocktail at Hôtel de Paris
 PARADE of the Knights at Place du Casino
 Lunch Monte-Carlo Polo Club at the Salle Empire at Hôtel de Paris
 Inauguration ceremony and first matches at Domaine de Vire-Vent

Saturday 6th
 Tournament at Domaine de Vire-Vent
 Gala evening at Monte-Carlo Bay

Sunday 7th
 Semi-final at Domaine de Vire-Vent
 Final at Domaine de Vire-Vent
 Ladies’ hat contest – fashion catwalk – award ceremony – GARDEN PARTY