Monday, November 4, 2013


Seborga is a small town of less than 400 people that has been the subject of bickering at various times in history between the French, the Italians, and the Benedictine monks.  In the mid-1950's, the citizens proclaimed their town a principality, independent of the Italian Republic, claiming an invalid annexation by the King of Sardinia in 1815.

So this little town has its own national flag....

And mints its own coins, which are used only within its boundaries

And has its own military police (not sure if there are only these two or more)....

And they've had an elected prince since 1963, who has purely symbolic functions.

It's a pretty little town with the arched passages that are so typical in this area.

And a couple of picturesque churches.

And the usual feline residents basking in the warm Ligurian sun.

On this particular Sunday, there was a memorial ceremony taking place for the fallen partisans of the World Wars.  The men with the feathers in their hats were members of the Alpine military unit during the Second World War and after.

The town mayor presided over the ceremony.  Yes, they have a prince AND a mayor, both of whom are quite young.

The view of the sea from the town is quite breathtaking.

At first I was pretty impressed with the chutzpah of this handful of Italians, declaring independence from the Italian Republic, but then Riccardo told me that most people thought it was just a "put on" to lure tourists to the area.  There is no real defiance here--the laws of Italy are not being violated or defied.  Whether this is an example of stubborn patriotism or a clever ploy to trap tourists is a moot argument.  Whatever it is, it's working for this little spot in the hills of Imperia.

And even if it is just a ploy, the spectacular views on the drive up the hairpin mountain curves to get there make it worth the trip.  (That's Monaco on top of the hill closest to the sea.)

In the afternoon, Riccardo and I went to listen to a choir concert at a church in Bodighera.  Marina was singing with this choir, and their performance of the Gabriel Faure' Requiem was excellent.  In the evening, we enjoyed a wonderful dinner of fresh seafood at a seaside restaurant we had visited the last time I was here.

All in all, a perfectly lovely day in perfectly lovely Liguria.

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