Forget Italy, Visit The Dubious Principality Of Seborga
This week marked the untimely passing of Giorgio Carbone, the dubiously-legitimate, yet popularly elected leader/king/sandwich-moocher of the small nation of Seborga, a 2.8 square mile parcel of land located near the French border on the Italian Riviera.
Never heard of the country, you say? You’re probably not alone, though it’s reported that at least 20 other countries have recognized its independence (but not Italy).
After convincing his Seborgan neighbors of their true significance, Giorgio Carbone was elected prince in 1963. He gracefully accepted the informal title of His Tremendousness, and was elected prince for life in 1995 by a vote of 304 to 4. Voters then ratified Seborga’s independence, which, by the prince’s interpretation, it already had.
Ruling with a pro-smoking, pro-tourism bent, Seborga has its own 1995-esqe website (complete with background music and flag animation), as well as its own currency, money, and one-person army. A must-visit for those looking to rack up the number of countries they’ve visited. And I thought Swaziland was small when I drove through it.
Published on December 18, 2009