Seborga – Discover the village that claims independence


Principato of Seborga flag (iStock photo)

Seborga is a small town in the region of Liguria in Italy, near the French border. It has 300 inhabitants and its main economic activities are tourism and agriculture. In the early 1960s, Giorgio Carbone, then head of the village’s flower-growers co-operative, began promoting the idea that Seborga should retain its historic independence as a principato, based on some manuscripts found in the Vatican Archives. He managed to convince the people of Seborga of these arguments and they elected him as their head of state, with the title Giorgio I, Prince of Seborga. On 23 April 1995, Seborgans voted 304 in favour, 4 against, for the principato’s constitution and in favour of independence from Italy. Seborga has a flag, a national anthem, a small volunteer defense army and its own currency (Seborga luigino – valid only in the village). However the Seborgans pay taxes and vote in local and national Italian elections. Public health, telecommunications, school services and all public services are provided by the Italian State.

Palazzo dei Monaci in Piazza San Martino in Seborga (iStock photo)

Seborga, after the declaration of independence, has become quite famous and tourism has increased in the last few years. The historic town centre has been restored and is considered one of the most beautiful and well-preserved villages in Italy. The most characteristic buildings of the village are : Parish Church of San Martino Tours, Church of San Bernardo and Palazzo dei Monaci. There are also three small museums : Museum of Peasant Civilization, Museum of the Mint and a permanent exhibition of musical instruments. In the village and the surrounding area, you could find a few restaurants and hotels (in case you want to stay overnight).

Seborga is located near Provincial Road 57 in Imperia-Italy. The nearest motorway access is at the Bordighera exit on the A10 highway. The nearest railway station is also in Bordighera, on the Ventimiglia-Genoa line.

Seborga (iStock photo)

Watch a short documentary about Seborga (by Simo Valley) :