The Italian village wants to be a country

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(CNN) – Located on an idyllic hill on the Italian Riviera is a small village with a big dream: to become an independent nation.

The Principality of Seborga has its own flag, national anthem, passports, stamps, money and, of course, a monarch. He hoped to bring them back one day by allowing the law to take over his government, which he had sought since the 1960s.

Today, however, Seborga is a beautiful village in the northern Italian state of Imperia, near France, with more than 300 inhabitants and covers about five square miles of land.

The road leading up to the city was impassable, complete with a guard box painted in the colors of the Seborga flag, sometimes guarded by border guards.

Beautifully situated, Seborga has beautiful views of the Riviera below, with the Principality of Monaco – perhaps the world’s most famous microstate and an incentive for Seborga’s constant quest for independence.

“Lawyers are working,” said his Serene Highness Princess Nina of Seborga, “that’s why I was chosen Princess.”

Ancient history

A sign welcomes visitors to the city.

A sign welcomes visitors to the city.

By the Constitution of Seborga

In Seborga, where the king had no heirs, elections were held every seven years and Princess Nina was the first woman to hold office.

Born in Germany, Nina Döbler Menegatto was living in Monaco when she met Seborga 15 years ago with her husband and former king, Marcello I, who left last year. 2019.

“At first, I thought the whole story was funny and I didn’t think much of it,” he said of Seborga’s claim to independence, “but I read it and it was true. “

The lawsuit began in 1960 when Giorgio Carbone, who ran a community group of flower growers, looked at the town’s history and saw something wrong.

Seborga was given to the Benedictine monks in 954, and was sold in 1729 to the Kingdom of Sardinia and made it part of the Kingdom of Italy. But, according to Carbone, there is no history of the sale, which means that Seborga was never part of Italy.

“It’s hard to imagine, almost 300 years later, this lack of documentation was a real reason to build a legal knowledge,” said Graziano Graziani, an Italian expert on micronations. “But the community believes in Seborga’s independence to justify its demands.”

Seborga’s request was rejected by the Italian Constitution and the European Court of Justice, but the queen was not overthrown. “It’s not definitely an easy case,” he said. “It won’t be possible today or tomorrow, but nothing is impossible: look at Brexit.”

A story line?

Princess Nina, center, was chosen as the chief.

Princess Nina, center, was chosen as the chief.

By the Constitution of Seborga

Princess Nina agreed the story was good for the business. “It’s also good for sightseeing, let’s not deny this. Who doesn’t love the story, the princess and the horse -drawn carriage? So, yes, it’s a sightseeing spot, but it’s a piece the story of Seborga, ”he said. .

He made it clear that there was nothing wrong with the King’s actions – passports were just for fun and the local currency, Luigino, was allowed in shops around town but was a reminder.

However, Giorgio Carbone, who ruled as Seborga’s first king until his death in 2009, made little effort.

“In 1960 he closed the border and never released anyone again, he refused to pay taxes to Italy and he drove with a Seborgan park in his car,” he said.

One way or another, these competitors put Seborga on the map, adding a tour of flower and olive farming, the mainstays of the local industry. Carbone is fondly remembered. “That man has done a wonderful thing, he deserves a memorial,” said the chief.

Rather than taking a key from Covid, the city welcomes visitors from Japan, albeit with a different vibe from the beauty of nearby Monaco.

“Seborga is against Monaco in many ways – it’s very low in the world, quiet and magical, and the people who live there are very natural and welcoming,” said Kaidi -Katariin Knox, he Seborgan in Estonia. “When you go to the bar in the piazza, you see all the names.”

It’s a fallen rebellion

Seborga’s independent demands helped bring in tourists.

Seborga’s independent demands helped bring in tourists.

By the Constitution of Seborga

In the interest of the king, Seborga got his share of theatrics. In 2016, Nicolas Mutte, a French citizen, said he was the new king during a royal wedding abroad, in an event reported in the local newspaper as a coup. dʻétat.

“Models and decoys are the way the sun deals with micronations that are said to be real states,” Graziani said. “Perhaps this is to demand government and social rights in the future, a power that has decided to recognize Seborga’s independence – or to be able to present itself as a‘ king ’. from a European state. “

Mutte is just one of many examples of the throne that has risen over the years. The Principality issues a list as a guide; with regard to social media sites and websites, often selling customers or money, it is considered for the appropriate Seborgan government.
The government itself says it will give no one the titles of chiefs, and only nine ministers, and a council of born -again Seborgans. It makes its own laws, but at the moment, they don’t take any legal property and the real power is in the hands of a permanent electorate. “Seborga is an Italian mayor,” said Princess Nina. “In a sense, we have to fight – but without it, we’re friends.”

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