|Grace Kelly in 'To Catch a Thief' filmed on the Cote d' Azur|
The jasmine scented village of La Turbie nestles on an Alp slope 1600 feet above Monaco, and near where Grace Kelly raced co-star Cary Grant around hairpin Grand Corniche turns while shooting their 1955 romantic thriller ‘To Catch a Thief’ (here).
La Turbie is known for the colossal Trophée des Alpes (also called the Trophée d’Auguste) built in 6 to 7 BC...an exclaimation point to Emperor Auguste's victory over Alps' rebels that helped unify the Roman Empire.
Sharing the pine-washed mountain air is the ornate 1777 Église Saint-Michel Archange that presides over picture-postcard Mediterranean views splashed with red bougainvillea.
La Turbie’s 3,000 Wi-Fi Age residents also live at the unseen juncture of the ancient Via Aurelia highway. Built by Emperor Auguste the engineering feat carved into the mountains of Gaul and ran 180 miles to the Rhone River. The stretch added to the Roman Empire's 62,000-mile network that streamlined control of vast provinces and commerce.
A more romantic enterprise that greatly enhanced Monaco's fortunes occurred when Grace met Prince Rainer while attending the Cannes Film Festival in May 1955, after 'To Catch a Thief' wrapped shooting along the Cote d' Azur. Six-months later her Hollywood return for their wedding rocked worldwide headlines: (here)
At 56, after raising three children, Princess Grace died when she suffered a stroke at the wheel of her Rover that overshot the 'Devil's Curse' curve just after passing through La Turbie--not far from where she and lifelong great friend Cary Grant raced our hearts with everlasting screen glamour.
Though her acting career lasted only six years, Grace Kelly remains #13 on the American Film Institute's list of legendary leading ladies. She said: "I think that women can do anything they decide to do." Singing 'True Love' from her last film 'High Society' (1956) with Big Crosby: (here)