life through the lens
home destinations a-z the big trips about me world beers newspapers updates/links top fives travel store




Location - Western Europe; Capital - Seborga - Seborga; Italy - Rome; Population - Seborga - 360; Italy - 60 million; Currency - Luigino & the Euro ENCLAVES

From Lugano in Switzerland it was a train ride via Milan and Genoa followed by a midnight taxi from coastal Bordighera along a steep, winding road inland to the Principality of Seborga - April 2014.

Seborga's claims to independence stem from Giorgio Carbone's assertion (head of the local flower-growers cooperative) that the town wasn't mentioned in the Italian 1861 Act of Unification. The principality's website proclaims 'never annexed nor annexable by Italy'. In 1963 Giorgio was elected as the principality's first head of state, Prince Giorgio I. Following his death in 2009, Marcello Menegatto was elected Prince Marcello I in 2010 and, with his wife Nina, continue to assert independence. The 4.87km² principality has an armed force (of one?!), the Corpo della Guardia, and consular representation across the globe.


seborgamoney1The Luigino (SPL, only coins issued) is fixed to the dollar with a value of 1SPL = US$6.
Left to right are the
new 2.5SPL coin (displaying San Bernardo Chapel), the new 2SPL, the old 2SPL and new 1SPL coins. The latter three all display Seborga's coat of arms.




seborgamoney2On the reverse side are the coat of arms; Prince Giorgio I with Marcello I; Prince Giorgio I; and lastly Prince Marcello I






euroBut in reality everyone uses the Euro, the Luigino being more a tourist souvenir for suckers like me. And of course I lapped them up!
Stamps are also available but must be used with Italian ones.








seborga6The principality of Seborga, 10km inland from the Italian coastal resort of Bordighera


seborga3Also visible is Monaco and a great view of the French city of Nice on the Cote d'Azur - Seborga


seborga163The 'border', complete with sentry box and Seborgan flag - Seborga














seborga167The Seborgan flag is painted on the road - Seborga














seborga168Welcome to the Principality of Seborga!


seborga178From the border the steep winding road brings you to the hamlet of Fascia Piana - Seborga


seborga180There's also a walking trail up to the old town - Seborga















seborga157The path leading to the old town, with the spire of San Martino Church on the right - Seborga


















seborga150On the left is the former home of the first prince of Seborga, Giorgio Carbone, who died in 2009 - Seborga


seborga17At the main entrance to the principality is the 13th century San Bernardo Chapel, dedicated to the co-patron saint of Seborga


seborga39San Martino Church and, right, the Monks' Palace in Piazza San Martino - Seborga














seborga45The brightly coloured frescoes on San Martino Church - Seborga


















seborga40Piazza San Martino - Seborga


seborga44The Monks' Palace (Palazzo dei Monaci) on Piazza San Martino - Seborga


















seborga43The Templar Cross in the centre of Piazza San Martino - Seborga.
In the 12th century the first Knights Templar (a Christian military order) were ordained. Seborga then became the first Sovereign State of the Cistercians












seborga55Templar Knights add to the atmosphere in my room at the welcoming Antico Castello - Seborga


seborga57The narrow lanes of the historic centre - Seborga


seborga59Steps to Antico Castello B&B - Seborga


















seborga105This is the outside view of Antico Castello. I don't know if it was in fact an ancient castle, as the name suggests, but it has that look about it - Seborga













seborga62The flag of Seborga in the old town















seborga63More Seborgan flags draped outside the historic buidlings in Seborga


seborga67There's several Templar Knights on show around the principality, this one being outside Marcellino's Restaurant - Seborga


seborga68I love these colours on Via Matteotti - Seborga














seborga70A Templar Knight stands guard in the old town - Seborga














seborga74The Town Hall of the Principality of Seborga



seborga77The old town is popular with day trippers from the region - Seborga


seborga78 The Musical Instrument Museum contains a wealth of antique gramaphones, record players, trumpets etc - Seborga













seborga82Seborga's coat of arms on a road sign - Seborga














seborga84A decorative entrance to a home in Seborga


seborga87There's a couple of grottoes in the old town - Seborga


seborga88Madonna di Alvenia grotto - Seborga















seborga96On the left is one of the original gateways to the old town - Seborga














seborga121Piazza della Liberta is the heart of the old town - Seborga



On the Piazza is the official Seborga souvenir shop where you can buy postcards, tourist passports, flags, posters, the Luigini [but only the new coins not the Prince Giorgio I mint, which are sold by a 'rival'(?!) shop] - Seborga


seborga131And who should walk into the shop to chat with me but Princess Nina herself! Not just a princess but the Minister of Foreign Affairs no less.
Before I could ask for a photo she was off entertaining her guests. She's to the right of the fountain in the blue cardigan - Seborga












seborga127A colourful painting outside a Piazza shop - Seborga


















seborga124Piazza della Liberta on Easter Sunday - Seborga


seborga92On the right is the Prince's Palace, though the Prince and Princess don't reside here any more (I think they live above Marcellino's Restaurant) - Seborga


seborga98The entrance to the old prison - Seborga














seborga109The outdoor dining area of Osteria del Coniglio - Seborga














seborga114The historic centre is very small and easy to wander around in a couple of hours - Seborga


seborga118Another gateway to the old town - Seborga


seborga119More images of the Templar Knights in the historic centre - Seborga














seborga28Umberto I, King of Italy in the late 19th century - Seborga














seborga34Il Principe Pizzeria on Piazza Martiri Patrioti. It's quite impressive that a village of 360 can support four restaurants. The lane on the left leads to the old town - Seborga


seborga37Trattoria San Bernardo is also decorated with Templar Knights - Seborga


seborga35aEnjoying local cocktail Bicycletta (Campari and sparkling wine) as created by Trattoria San Bernardo - Seborga


seborga31There's a second sentry box on the edge of Piazza Martiri Patrioti - Seborga













seborga30A 1954 monument to the former mayor of Seborga, Bernardo Leone - Seborga


















On the left is a monument to Seborgans who died in World Wars I and II. On the right is a dedication to the WWII fallen on the Russian front - Seborga


seborga136Il Principe Pizzeria (left) overlooks a valley to the north - Seborga


seborga138Straight ahead on the coast is the Italian coastal resort of Bordighera - Seborga














seborga139Looking towards Nice and the Cote d'Azur - Seborga














seborga140The lights of the Italian town of Vallebona along with Ventimiglia, Menton, Monaco, Nice and the Cote d'Azur - Seborga


seborga141It's not just the Templar Knights standing guard - Seborga


seborga146One last look at the lanes of the old town - Seborga














seborga175The view on the road down to Bordighera, with Nice in the distance. In the foreground is Vallebona - Seborga














Website and content Copyright © 2008-2015 Mark Wilkinson. All rights reserved.


LINKS - Antico Castello bed & breakfast - Wikipedia entry - buses to Seborga - Guide to micronations - unique places


I am not responsible for the content of external websites.