Principality of Seborga in Seborga, Italy

The small village of Seborga, Liguria, has an unusual claim. According to local flower grower Giorgio Carbone, who claims to have found previously unknown documents in the Vatican archives, Seborga has existed as a sovereign state since the year 954, and was overlooked by the House of Savoy, which means that it was not legitimately included when Italy was unified in 1861.

Carbone promoted the concept of Seborgan independence further and further, and was elected by the citizens of the village as Prince of Seborga in 1963. Soon, the unrecognized principality had its own flag, currency (luigino), national guard, and motto in Latin: Sub Umbra Sede, meaning “sit in the shade.”

The Principality of Seborga continues to exist today, though some consider it a publicity stunt to attract tourists to this village of 300 inhabitants. It has been recognized by Burkina Faso since 1998, but legally speaking, it remains part of Italy. In spirit, the people of Seborga consider it a proper country in its own right.

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