Here is the belated Monthly Micronation Monday! Today, we research Seborga, a micronational principality within the country of Italy.
What's interesting about Seborga in comparison to some other micronations is its previous periods of relative self-rule. Its website claims Seborga as a sovereign state since 954 AD, a principality since 1079, having its own currency since about 1630, and never being annexed or annexable by Italy.
Like many micronations, Seborga is ruled by royalty. Unlike many micronations, the citizens of Seborga elect their prince: their latest is a building contractor named Marcello Menegatto. 156 of Seborga's 220 eligible voters cast their vote in the election. Seborga maintains its own newspaper, The Seborga Times, and an active internet life.
Previously in 954 AD, what is now Italy ceded Seborga to the Lerin Islands, where Seborgan/Seborghini (the demonym for the micronation is Seborgan while the demonym for the city of Seborga is Seborghini) ministers were made Princes of the of the Holy Roman Empire with primary control of Seborga, which was recognized as a Principality. In 1079, the Kingdom of Sardinia (Italy's predecessor state) annexed Seborga, but the lack of a written act or treaty recording the annexation brings about an interesting point by Seborgan independence supporters. Such supporters also point out that Italy omits Seborga's existence in a number of treaties, including the 1861 Italian Act of Unification.
Though no other nation has recognized Seborga's sovereignty claims, the micronation has received a lot of tourism for its troubles. The micronation also started a new currency called Luigino, though they have no value outside of Seborga. Luiginos are priced at about $6.00 US dollars, making it the highest-priced currency in the world. Giorgio Carbone, leader of the independence movement, was elected Head of State in 1963 and served as Prince until his death in 2009.
Seborga has an army of one: Lt. Antonello Lacala. It also gives out stamps and has a thriving economy due to tourism and the Luigino. Seborga's independence claims, recognized or not, have helped the city and its citizens develop a culture and economy all their own.
Sources: Principality of Seborga.org, The Seborga Times, Wikipedia