23 December 2006

10 December 2006

Father Christmas In Moldova With The Seborga In The World Association

The Seborga in the World Association is planning a trip from 28 December to 4 January to Moldova. The plan is to distribute toys, clothing and other items to the many children of poor families in the town of Mihailovca and in the south of the country.
For this project many students from different school grades in the province of Imperia are involved in collecting the goods for these less fortunate.
This initiative has received support from the Italian Red Cross, UNICEF and the Moldova Embassy in Rome.
During this trip the volunteers of the association are also hoping to successfully transfer from Moldova to a hospital in Rome an 11 year old girl who is currently suffering from cerebral paralysis. This girl has not seen her mother (the only relative left) for the last two years since she started to work in Italy to cover the medical expenses.
The girl is presently in an orphanage and the organisers are hoping to have all the papers required by the bureaucracy to be able to transfer the girl to a hospital in Rome for proper treatment and to allow the mother to see her daughter again. If they succeed it will be a very special Christmas present for this small family.

The Tree Fete Is Back Again In Seborga And In The All Intemelia Community

The Intemelia Mountain Community together with the Italian Forestry Corps has recently re-established “The tree fete”: an old tradition well practised in the past in the region.
The aim of this initiative is the planting of 500 trees among the municipalities of the mountain community and for this purpose the organisers have requested the involvement of the students from various schools in the region.
The opening ceremony was held in Seborga where thirty elms were planted by the students of the primary school under the supervision of the Italian Forestry Corps.
After Seborga will be the time for the other villages with the planting of oaks, olives trees, pines and elms.

08 November 2006


It is official: HRH Prince Giorgio Ist will not abdicate!
The spokesperson for the Principality, Mr G. Pistone, has announced that the Prince has decided to remain in charge. “Given the insistence of his most faithful friends and of the entire population of Seborga – declared the spokesperson – HRH Prince Giorgio Ist has accepted to renounce his earlier decision to retire”.

When in January the Prince announced his intention to abdicate – a decision justified by his age (70 years old) rather than the quarrel with the mayor for the upgrading of the area in front the ancient Cistercians Church of Saint Bernardo as reported by some media - the news left everybody in Seborga numb and surprised and reached every corner of the world.
Radio, television and newspapers around the world reported the announcement with great prominence and many journalists from important newspapers and magazines came to Seborga to investigate the case.
Now, we welcome the news of His change of mind with great relief and happiness because it will certainly bring an order and stability which recent events and characters have threatened of late, upsetting the tranquillity of the place and the honesty of the Seborgans.
This episode, beside the glamour created, has demonstrated that the cause carried out during many years by the Prince Giorgio Ist for the recognition of the independence of Seborga, has gained support and attention never reached before.
The case of Seborga is not as some would have us believe merely a Soap Opera. Today, the case of Seborga is a reality that cannot be ignored and the international community is more aware and sympathetic.
Prince Giorgio Ist is loved by his subjects and admired more and more by people around the world that follow the events happening in this tiny Principality with a passion.
We are happy that Giorgio Ist has decided to keep holding the reins.
There is still lot to do before its time to dismount.
May God grant Him the strength, wisdom and the fighting spirit to continue. (R. C.)

21 October 2006

A Museum Of Modern Art In Seborga

The Municipality of Seborga has officially unveiled an ambitious proposal for the city and the Principality: the creation - with the collaboration of two German companies and an artist from Berlin - of a museum of modern art.
The Mayor of Seborga, Franco Fogliarini has declared that the two companies involved have already promised the funding for the project. The proposal is now going to be assessed for its feasibility but the Council is favourable to publicise the project and to make available the land for the construction of the museum.
The project is part of a series of initiatives for the cultural and tourist development of the Principality. The idea of a Museum in Seborga started from Germany. Heiko Sachse, a versatile artist from Berlin, long involved in the enhancement of the ancient noble traditions of Seborga, has declared that he will auction very soon (the date is yet to be decided) his painting of the rock star Madonna (see photo) in the Principality of Monte Carlo. The starting price for the auction will be 30 thousand euro and the sum collected will be devolved for the construction of the museum.
Heiko Sachse, an honorary citizen of Seborga, recently organized a special event for the 80th birthday of Queen Elisabeth II in Berlin. The event, titled: "The Royal Laser Symphony-Queen Elisabeth" involved a symphonic musical performance written by the artist and a spectacular laser show. Heiko Sachse is the author of several artworks regarding the royal family; many of them are exhibited at Buckingham Palace, St James Palace and Westminster Abbey.
The Municipality of Seborga has expressed gratitude and appreciation to the artist for his commitment in favour of the development of the Principality. The Counsel General of the Federal Republic of Germany in Milan has also expressed appreciation for the project of the museum that will be named: CUORI D'ORO (Golden Hearts).

06 October 2006

The History of Seborga in Piazza

For five weeks, every Wednesday evening starting at 21:00 in Piazza Saint Martin, the curator of the Seborga Historical Library and writer Sergio Pistone will hold a series of lectures about the history of the Principality of Seborga and how it evolved.
The topic of the first meeting (which took place last Wednesday) was on "the ancient people of the territory"; the next topic will be on "Christianity and the heretical doctrines". The meetings are open to the public and everybody is welcome to attend. (SeborgaPress)

23 September 2006

Principality of Seborga: An Historical Synthesis

In the remote prehistoric period the territory of the Ligurian Piedmont is populated by the Cro-Magnon man; in the Neolithic period, around 5000 years ago, an inhabitant of the place that today is called Seborga carves an idol of stone, while others chip away small stones to make some tools. In that period man has spread also to the islands, from the Balearics to Malta to the Peloponnesus and in all the Mediterranean.
For a millions of years man inhabits this area, this Ligurian Provenza, gifted with a fortunate climate that has allowed him to prevail over glacial periods. A Ligurian population, always settled in our mountains, made of rough, strong and patient men who, incredibly, love these stones, this barren and poor land.
Towards the end of the Bronze Age, 1250 - 1300 B.C., one small tribe, belonging to the Celtic world and coming from the Euro-Asian east, crosses the barrier of the Maritime Alps, comes down along the divide that from the Marguareis mountain descends to the sea at Bordighera and occupies the west side of the mountain.

In the mountains, and always on the western side, some important people are buried in large tombs. Among them, one burial ground gives this place the name of Seborga. The occupied territory, divided into four villages (today Castelvittorio, Baiardo, Perinaldo and Seborga) is governed by eight men, two from each village, who then elect a leader.

The eight faithful and their descendants settle in these places and near the main tomb: they guard it, they defend it and they make it a reason for living for thousands of years and more.
This tradition, of eight plus one, will continue for thousands of years to come, until the time of the establishment of the rules of the “Paupera Militia Christi” of Saint Bernard and the Order from which its name originates.

With some difficulties, the descendants of the original tribe become part of the Ligurian population and, in part, they adopt the local language and customs, maintaining at the same time their own. One of the words that they accept, typical of the Palaeolithic-Mediterranean language, is the name that is given to the place: Sepulcrum. This name will give the village a prerogative and a sacred role, never to be lost or forgotten.
The ancestors of present day Seborgans do not get involved in the Romano-Ligurian wars, indifferent to the object of the dispute: officially the creation of a coastal road that links Rome with Marseilles, but in practice the subjugation of the Ligurian people to Rome.

At the time of Jesus Christ and the early Christian church, Seborga, with all probability, is directly interested in the absurd issue of the siblings of Jesus. The particular affection that the Jews have for the Ligurian Provenza zone is clearly documented; the Romans themselves confirm this line of contact by exiling to the Rodano valley and the surrounding area the Jews who resist and revolt against Roman domination. With the crucifixion of Christ, begins the Diaspora of Christians to different parts of the world and, of course, in our mountains, where they meet the descendants of the Celtic tribes.

The two religions have great and fundamental points in common, among them the oneness of God; the immortality of the soul; an intermediate world in which, after the death of the body, the soul is weighed; respect for the saints; the refusal of the sacred representations (the iconoclasm); brotherly love for all; tolerance towards other religious beliefs; and also a particular preference for the sacral meaning of the numbers three and eight.

At this point a mechanism is released, still not clearly understood in its essence but surely linked to the name of the place. The village becomes the “SEPOLCRO” (Sepulchre) for a relic of such importance and sacredness that it cannot be named. From this moment forward, for two thousand years, the place of Seborga becomes sacred: no armies conquer it; no States aspire to it; no Monarchs claim it; and no one even wants to mention it!

With the passing of the centuries this distinctiveness remains unbroken and the reputation of Seborga, always coexisting with the secrecy of its location, is widely known in the Christian world but - it should be said - only at higher levels. The particular relationship between the village and the eastern Provenza continues and we see a period characterised by invasions, destruction and pillage; Seborga is always protected, nobody touches it.

The involvement of Ludovico the Pious and the formal creation of the Imperial Principality, with the nomination of the bishop Claudius as first Prince, will allow, through the documents and the parchments that survive to us, the writing of a well documented and authenticated history.

The events that follow “the gift” of Guidone confirm its authenticity, in spite of some difficulties in the interpretation of the document. The religious status of Seborga, even if apparently heretical (think of Saint Cassiano and Saint Bernard), is reaffirmed by the arrival of the Catar refugees.

Time moves on and we reach the second half of the 17th Century, with the minting of the coins of the Principality and the incredible story of the “selling” of the Principality by the Savoia Family. Even then the European turmoils do not touch the ancient Principality, which proves to be alien to the earthly disputes and always rightly ignored for its essentially religious status.

And now, in order to finish, the invention of the Reign of Italy, the fall of the monarchy, the short interval of uncertainty and, in 1963, the election of the Prince, H.R.H. George I, reconfirmed (together with the adoption of the General Statutes) 23 of April 1995.

Thus this short summary comes to an end, although some of the mysteries mentioned in this account remain to be explained: what happened to the Seborga documents taken by Genoa; the exact nature of the sacred relic buried, who knows where, in the Principality.

A rich place of ethereal sensations, of indefinite emanations, of that wonderful feeling that makes those who come with a pure mind and honest intentions exclaim: “I have arrived. It’s here that I want to live; this is my world”. A meeting between the greatest: the Empire; and the smallest: the Principality; this incredible place never blemished by wars, conquests, persecutions, earthquakes, armies or conquerors.

All this, and much more than this, is the Principality of Seborga. Respect her; she deserves it; it is her right.
(Translated from “Principato di Seborga: Sintesi Storica di Giorgio Pistone” by R. & E. Colla - September 2006)

10 August 2006

Seborga Seen Through The Eyes Of Its Young Ones

In Piazza della Liberta` (Liberty Square) there is something new to welcome the many tourists arriving to visit the Principality: a large illustrated map of the town seen through the eyes of the children of Seborga!
Yes, the children of the local kindergarten and primary school are the primary authors of the map that is now permanently displayed by Mayoral decree.
Thanks to the helpful advice from architect Tullio Gogole from Vallebona and assistance from their teachers, Emanuela Rebaudengo and Susanna Millo, the young artists have drawn a colourful and well detailed map of Seborga, with street names, places of historic interest, shops and services.
The idea behind this project was to give to the young students the opportunity to learn and better familiarize themselves with the territory in which they live.
Judging by the result, everybody in Seborga is quite impressed, especially those involved in the project.
The illustrated map was unveiled during a ceremony by the Mayor, Franco Fogliarini in the presence of many citizens and the proud young students.

The Official Program For This Year's Saint Bernard Celebrations

The Municipality of Seborga has released the official program for this year Saint Bernard festivities that will take place on the 20th August. Here is the program:
Saturday 19 August:
19:00 Religious service in the old church of Saint Bernard with procession.
Sunday 20 August:
11:00 Welcome to the authorities;
11:15 Religious service at Saint Martin Church;
12:00 Official opening of the new restored churchyard of Saint Bernard;
12:30 Refreshment offered by Seborga Town Hall;
15:30 Religious procession from the churches of Saint Martin to Saint Bernard;
20:00 Food, wine and entertainment in Piazza Martiri;
21:00 Musical concert by the Principato di Seborga Chamber Orchestra directed by maestro Vitaliano Gallo;
23:00 Historic parade.

22 July 2006

Celebrating the Summer Season in Seborga

Again this year and following more than 20 years of tradition, Seborga is ready for the summer season with a series of events of all kinds, with something for everyone.
The current events are attracting and entertaining thousands of tourists in its squares and inside the ancient village.
Gastronomic evenings, dance parties, concerts, arts exhibitions and sport events are taking place during all July and August.
In particular, twice a week, every Thursday and Saturday at 20:00 culinary events and entertainment with different orchestras are scheduled.
The local restaurants are busy and the shops are selling souvenirs, coins, stamps, history books, flags and other items of the Principality.
The peak of the summer program of entertainment will be on the 20th August with the celebrations of the national day: Saint Bernard. (SeborgaPress)

The Magic Flute of the Seborga Chamber Orchestra

The Chamber Orchestra Principality of Seborga will celebrate the 250th anniversary of the birth of W.A. Mozart with three performances of the Magic Flute.
The first concert is Monday 24 July, starting at 21:00 at the “Auditorium Comunale” of Ospedaletti. The second concert will be held on the 15 August at 21:00 at the Roman Amphitheatre in Ventimiglia and the final one on the 20 August, at San Martin square in Seborga. (SeborgaPress)

Grand Finale for the International Music Chamber Course 2006

Closing Concert for the participants of the International Music Chamber Course 2006. The program of the International Chamber Music Course 2006 organized by Maestro Vitaliano Gallo of the Chamber Orchestra Principality of Seborga concluded Wednesday 19 July with a closing concert held in Saint Martin square in Seborga. More that 200 students participated in the course that was held at the University Centre of Imperia.
Of all the participants only four finalists had the opportunity to perform in front of the public at the closing concert: Francesco Mule` (actor), Omar Ferrari (percussionist), Vittorio DeFranceschi (clarinet) and Marco Prevosto (piano).

Seborga In The World Charity Night

Sunday 13 August, the “Seborga Nel Mondo Association” will organize a special dinner to raise money for the “Cuore Moldavo” project (Moldavian Heart).
The dinner, by candle light, will include a menu of typical dishes from the Liguria Region and an entertainment program.
For the event a series of display presentations will illustrate the work done by the association in places like Morocco, Senegal and Moldova.
The entertainment program includes music by the Principality of Seborga Chamber Orchestra, the performance of artists from Senegal and a dance group from Moldova.
The cost of participation is 15.00 Euro per person and the money raised will go to finance a project devoted to the children of the Moldovan city of Mihailovca. Booking is essential by phoning Flavio at: 3288667390. (SeborgaPress)

Second International Literary Competition

The Municipality of Seborga together with the Historical Library of Seborga and the Principality have launched the second edition of the International Literary Competition.
The competition is open for an essay, edited and original, in Italian or in French, regarding research, study, people, buildings, documents, artistic works and Middle Age historical events.
The scripts need to be submitted in typed or print format and send to the Biblioteca Storica di Seborga - 18012 Seborga (IM), not later than the 10th October 2006. A jury will examine all the entries and only three works will be selected as finalists. The works submitted will not be returned but will be kept in the Library and will be available to the public.
The prize ceremony will take place in Seborga on the 11th November, in Saint Martin Square. (SeborgaPress)

15 June 2006

A Bitter Power Struggle For The Throne and New Challenges For The Principality of Seborga

In the past months and particularly in these recent weeks, the autonomy of the Principality of Seborga has been the attention of the Italian media, due to a series of press releases from a self-declared royal who calls herself Princess Yasmine von Hohenstaufen Anjou Plantagenet and who claims to be the rightful heir to the throne of Seborga. Her name started to appear on the Seborga scene once HRH Prince Giorgio I announced early this year his intention to abdicate in the near future. Before then no one in Seborga knew or had heard about her or her family claims.
Given the widespread coverage of the story, the news that Seborga was looking for a new prince must have reached Yasmine’s house. She immediately mobilized her PR machine by setting up pages on the net claiming to be a descendant of the Hohenstaufens, the German royal family that ruled over the Holy Roman Empire in the 13th century.
She activated supporters, issued press releases to the media and proclamations to the Seborga people announcing her new arrival and presence among them and promising a new and reviving future for Seborga and its people.
At the same time she wasted no time in dismissing Prince Giorgio I and anyone who dared to dispute her rights with unflattering announcements.
All this commotion was done by phone, by faxes and emails, without putting a foot on Seborga soil. In fact, no one in Seborga has seen her yet.
Despite many attempts to get her claims recognised, be accepted by the Seborga people and get the support of the Mayor, the Seborgans responded at first with great surprise and curiosity and then with indifference and annoyance.
HRH Prince Giorgio dismissed her claim, voicing doubts over her lineage and asking why the only public trace of her existence was on the jumbled website of an unknown 'foundation'. "Pah! No one's ever even seen her as far as I know. I call her the 'internet princess'," he said.
Earlier this week, the princess’s office issued a press release to the Italian media announcing that the International Court of Justice (IJC) had recognised Seborga as not part of Italy and in view of that recognition she had decided in the end to cede the Principality of Seborga to the Italian Republic.
"She’s not a princess and she cannot give away something she does not own," was the response of Prince Giorgio to this latest news adding that although the recognition by the International Court was made three years ago and not recently, she has also failed to provide up to now the evidence of the existence of such a document.
These recent events have brought back the attention of the media to the issue of the independence of the Principality and have prompted Prince Giorgio to reveal some of his thoughts on this issue.In an interview to the ANSA (the Italian press Agency), Prince Giorgio said that he and his ministers are talking to big insurance groups with a view to creating a health insurance and pension system for the community. "Then we really will be independent," he said. "We have nothing against Italy, it's just that we're not part of it and our administration should reflect that". (SeborgaPress)

01 June 2006

Fake Degrees, Fraudulent Schemes: Scams Exposed. Widespread Damage To Seborga's Reputation

The article titled “A University in Seborga? Not really…” that we published last February not only has raised a significant interest among our readers but has exposed an unbelievable worldwide scam that no one in Seborga could think of or imagine.

There is no doubt that the fame of The Principality has reached every corner of the world, attracting almost every day the curiosity of the media, engaging many supporters and boosting tourism which is good for the local economy. At the same time however this popularity has caught the attention of a few charlatans who have seen in Seborga a golden opportunity to pursue their own interests (and make money) to the detriment of the reputation and credibility of the Principality and its people.

The lack of an official presence of Seborga on the internet has opened up the opportunity for a proliferation of other websites that claim to be “official” (but in reality are not) and the spread of confusion and misleading activities that can only be classified as fraudulent!
While the Italian Police is conducting an investigation, SeborgaPress has also carried out its own research and the results are quite staggering and grim. The scam’s activities range from false pretences to the selling of titles (chivalry, business rank, etc), stamps, passports, coins (all fake of course), to the more alarming selling of accreditations to online universities.

“We have conducted our own investigation with the full support of Seborga’s local authorities” - declares Renzo Colla, the Editor of Seborga Times – “and for this we would like to thank in particular the Mayor of Seborga, Franco Fogliarini and his team of councillors and also the members of the Seborga Crown. We also appreciate the assistance and expertise of Mr George Brown, director of HigherEd Consulting, a private Consulting and Research Company based in Adelaide (Australia), in helping us to unravel the accreditation scam (http://www.higheredconsulting.com.au/). It’s about time we put an end to all this. Enough is enough, and for this reason SeborgaPress has decided to publicly denounce this scandal”.

As we have already pointed out in our previous article, there are several online educational institutions and online universities that claim their headquarters or representative office here in Seborga. Well, we have some bad news for those who think that they exist or are being misled to believe it. The reality is that there are no offices or even registered business of that type in Seborga. To help to visualize this reality, we publish the picture of the well known address: Via Miranda, that appears as valid in many contact pages of these institutions. Again, the reality (believe it or not) is that through that door that you see in the picture there is only a storeroom.

In our findings we have discovered that there is a so called “SBC – Antico Principato di Seborga’s Council for Distant Education, Culture and Faith” and “Council of Accreditation” (you can amuse yourself by visiting: http://www.seborga-edu.info/index.htmindex.htmindex.htm).
We won’t go into the tedious details of what this council has made up and claims to be and do, but basically its “mission” is to grant accreditations “to those institutes that “qualify”, in other words that pay for it. Yes, there are fees and you can find out by visiting the Payment Fees page.

This could be a perfectly private business and enterprise and as such we would have nothing against it. The problem is that this “Council of Accreditation” makes use of the name and status of the Principality of Seborga as if this organization (and the people behind it) have received the official right or permission to operate from the Seborgan authorities. Nothing could be more false, dishonest or deceitful than this.

SeborgaPress has found no evidence or proof that either the Seborga Council (from the Mayor downward) or the Seborga Crown (from the Prince downward) or any other local authority have issued to this organization the permission, consent or “beneplacito” to issue accreditations and to work. In fact neither this Council nor any other organisation of that kind exists or operates in Seborga.

As we already mentioned, in Seborga there are only a primary school and a preschool, run by the Italian Department of Education. There are no universities or educational institutions that operate from or in Seborga. This SBC Council is a private business and enterprise set up somewhere by someone and operates under false credentials.

In conducting our research, we realize that this particular type of activity has serious implications and consequences for many people: those who run online universities and courses and have paid “SBC Seborga Council” thinking to obtain a valid accreditation; and those students that have obtained or will obtain degrees that in reality are invalid.

Just to give an example, we read recently on the Daily News - The Voice of Bahrain that a chief physician plans to open an obesity control clinic in Bahrain and that this doctor has been awarded a PhD by Italy’s University of Seborga for his “Marmaki” treatment.

The damage caused to the reputation of Seborga by this accreditation business is already being felt and is becoming widespread. In many education departments and agencies in the world the name Seborga is well known not necessarily for the beauty of the place or for its peculiar history and status.
For them (unfortunately) Seborga is a notorious degree mill that causes headaches and puts international monitoring agencies on red alert. Recently the Inside Higher Ed, an online publication based in Washington D.C., published an article regarding (and questioning about) a new online “university” with associates, bachelors, and master’s degree-granting authority from Seborga (www.insidehighered.com/news/2006/05/24diulus).

The eLerners News Blog, referring to the same article writes: “Many authorities on diploma mills consider Seborga as fertile ground for these unaccredited institutions offering worthless degrees, having been home to now-defunct mills such as Pebble Hills University, James Monroe International University, and Miranda International University, a school connected to the infamous St. Regis University cluster of diploma mills.”

Another scam that the Seborgan authorities are publicly denouncing through our publications is related to the many websites that claim to be the official ones of Seborga. The most notorious, visited by people all over the world, are the ones run by the same person that in June 2001 was appointed by the then Mayor of Seborga (Franco Fogliarini) as “Director of Tourism of Seborga”. His name is Denis Pierre-Francois. At that time he offered his services “free of charge” to promote Seborga’s tourism abroad.

The Mayor and the council accepted his offer but one year later, after taking into account the results (zero) of his post, the Mayor dismissed him from his duty and title with a Decree dated August 2002 (see picture of the Decree).
Not only did the Mayor revoke his appointment of Director of Tourism of Seborga, he also requested Mr Denis Pierre-Francois to cease to make use of or to confer to himself or others any title, symbol, qualification or anything else associated with Seborga.

Do you think this was enough to stop him? Not really. He still maintains in his websites the title of Director of Tourism of Seborga, the title of secretary of foreign affairs, the director of SBC (Seborga Business Centre) and many others. He has established a network of people around the world who after paying the proper fees are bestowed with chivalry titles, business attaché titles, SBS representatives and ambassador’s titles. Not to mention the selling of passports (tourist and diplomatic), stamps, coins, souvenirs (all fakes of course) and last but not least the famous accreditations or licences to online universities. The truth is that at the moment the only way to buy original stamps, coins or souvenirs of the Principality is to personally visit Seborga and buy them from the local shops.

Not happy with that, through his websites he manages to control and filter almost any contact that people outside Seborga try to have with the Principality (this is how he managed to build his network and business) feeding them with false information. Denis Pierre-Francois does not live in Seborga (for obvious reasons) but people abroad are captivated by his manners and presentation and his websites that – although not updated – are quite full of information and photos to see.

The mayor of Seborga, Franco Fogliarini has informed SeborgaPress that the recently re-elected Council has plans to open soon an official Seborga website with the aim to resolve the current situation. We will, of course, inform our readers when this new and official website is operating. In the meantime, anyone who wishes to contact the Municipality is invited to use the official e-mail address, which is: comuneseborga@inwind.it and not to use the ones that appear on other web pages (such as: commune@seborga.net).

SeborgaPress and the Seborgan authorities are taking this opportunity to warn the public to be aware of non official websites, false e-mail addresses and scam activities. (SeborgaPress)

30 May 2006

Seborgans have re-elected Fogliarini as Mayor

Franco Fogliarini (United for Seborga) has being confirmed as Mayor of Seborga at the latest local administrative elections held on 28 and 29 May 2006. He received 131 votes against his opponent: Carlo Bianchieri (New Seborga List) with 83 votes. The newly elected council will comprise of 12 councilors: 8 from the majority list and 4 from the minority list. (SeborgaPress)

03 May 2006

International Courses of Chamber Music

International Courses of Chamber Music from 16 to 19 July 2006: The courses of chamber music are open to qualified musicians and music students of any nationality and instrument and can be attended as an effective student or just as a listener.
The program of the courses (that includes formations for trios, quartet and quintet from the repertoire of the 1700s to 1900s) will be established by the teacher on the basis of the number of enrolments.
Every student will have to prepare and present a piece of music of his choice for solo instrument of ten minutes duration.
Every effective student will - at the end of the course – receive a certificate. The cost is € 200 for effective students and € 100 for listeners. Discounts and special arrangements for accommodation and food will be available in the Principality for those who attend the courses.
For more information and enrolment please write to Mr Vitaliano Gallo at: vitalianogallo@virgilio.it or by phone: 0039.0184.575007 (SeborgaPress)

Seborga on Belgium television

One of our readers in Belgium has informed us that last month the Flemish commercial television channel VTM put on air a short story about the Principality of Seborga during the popular Sunday evening program ROBLAND. You can view the video by visiting the following website:
Many thanks to Jurgen. (SeborgaPress)

14 April 2006


HRH Prince Giorgio I made his first official appearance, since announcing his retirement last January, at the celebrations for the Solidarity Without Borders Day, held in Seborga last Sunday, 2 April.
In receiving the nomination of “Messenger of Peace in the World” by the President of the Ligurian branch of UNICEF, the Prince took the opportunity to address his subjects by assuring them that he is still in charge and announcing his intention to delay his retirement.
“I will remain for a few months, until they elect a new prince”, announced the Prince, and continued: “I am tired, and I am looking forward to retiring. But I will not leave the Principality until the Seborgans elect my successor”.
In the crowded San Martino Square, after receiving the nomination, the Prince also spoke strongly against the alleged princess Kathrin Hohenstaufen who – in recent months – with a series of absurd proclaims has declared herself the “heir” of the Principality and even dismissed Prince Giorgio! At first she was invited but later “forgotten” by the organisers of the event. “She is not a princess. It’s all a stunt” thundered the Prince.
The Seborgans welcomed the words of Prince Giorgio and gave the opportunity to Flavio Gorni of the “Seborga nel Mondo Association” to reply on their behalf: “Our only Prince is Giorgio I that has done a lot for us and for our cause”.

23 March 2006

Seborga will celebrate Solidarity Without Borders Day

The “SEBORGA NEL MONDO – I CARE” Association and UNICEF (The United Nations Children’s Fund) will celebrate the Solidarity Without Borders Day on Sunday 2 April in Seborga with a series of events, from 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM.
The program includes a photo presentation along the streets of Seborga illustrating the history and activities of UNICEF, a video presentation of the humanitarian mission conducted last year in Moldavia by the Seborga nel Mondo – I Care Association and the official awarding of “Messengers of Peace in the World” to all those involved in last year’s charitable mission to Moldavia.
Among the VIP invited are Prince Filiberto of Savoy, Princess and Prince Alduino Ventimiglia Lascaris. Also present at the event will be H.R.H. Prince Giorgio I and the Mayor of Seborga, Franco Fogliarini.

Seborgans called to choose new Mayor

On the 28 May the Seborgans will have to vote and elect the new Mayor. At the moment there are two competing lists for these administrative elections, one lead by the current Mayor Franco Fogliarini and the second lead by his cousin Ermes Fogliarino, currently councillor for the opposition. According to some indiscretions Ermes Fogliarino is said to be more in favour of Prince Giorgio than the current Mayor and given the recent squabble between the Council and the Palace, it will be interesting to see how these two contenders will perform at the coming elections.

Seborga products on display in the "wine town" of Canelli

On Saturday 25 February the Regional Wine Cellar of Canelli (Asti) hosted a delegation from the Principality of Seborga. The aim of the visit was to promote the products and the culinary traditions of Seborga. For the occasion the organizers staged a display of products and food delicacies from the Principality and a special dinner cooked by Seborgan chefs. The city of Canelli, in the province of Asti in Piedmont, is one of the world capitals of quality wines: 580 wines estates are located in the territory of the munincipality and the vineyards cover a surface of 1500 hectares with an average annual production of 10.000.000 bottles. The grape varieties grown are mainly Moscato, Barbera, Dolcetto, Cortese and Chardonnay. The most important wines produced by the wineries of Canelli are Asti spumante (sparkling wine) and Moscato d’Asti (still wine), both wines are obtained from Moscato grapes.

Mambrin patron of the Easter painting competition

Luigi Mambrin will be responsible for organizing the next painting competition that will be held during the Easter holiday in the Principality. As for the previous editions it is expected that the event will be a success and will attract the participation of numerous artists and many people will attend this most anticipated event.

High cost of severe weather

The cost of the damage caused by last December’s heavy snow falls in the Liguria Region amounts of 23 million of euro. The regional authority has estimated and officially notified the amount of the damage to the Italian Department of Agriculture that will now be able to accept and process the claims from the many flowers growers and farmers that suffered from the severe weather. The Principality of Seborga was also affected by heavy snow falls and the Emergency Service had to intervene several times to clear roads and streets from the snow and ice.

Sport: Cycling

Marco Panigata, 65 years old, from Seborga was the winner of the Cycling Italian Championship of Indoor Cycling held recently in the town of Forli. He came first in the amateur category.


The first test for the cycling competition of the “Mountain Challenge 2006” from Bordighera to Seborga was won by Marco Bruna for the Junior/Senior Category and by Mauro Monteleone for the Veteran Category. More than 60 competitors took part at this first test that was battered by bad weather.

16 February 2006

A University in Seborga? Not really...

A University in the Ancient Principality di Seborga? Not really, it’s just a rented wine cellar. Various websites in English and also in other foreign languages publicize in fact the presence of a "University" in Seborga: a place where there is not even a high school!
The Italian Police have received a report on this matter and want to find out more about it.
One alarming aspect of this case is one of the places of this imaginary place of learning: Via Miranda 3, Seborga. At this address there is a wine cellar belonging to Osvaldo Romagna, a city council member, who has categorically excluded any presence of a faculty or office whatsoever.
"It’s a very small basement – declares the owner - which I let some time ago to two foreigners, French and – he seemed to me – Uruguayan. They had come to Seborga with the idea of promoting our tourism overseas. It is a fact that, after not having paid the rent for several months, they disappeared from the scene. I don’t know anything about this matter”.
However, the question remains why this address in Seborga appears on the internet as the location of several international organizations that provide courses and degrees on line.
One example is the alleged “Pebble Hills University – SBC Antico Principato di Seborga” that according to its web site is located or has its contact location at the “SBC Building, Via Miranda 3, Suite 303 Seborga.
According to other websites, there are at least thirteen so called “Universities” in Seborga, all accommodated in the same address! There is also a telephone and fax number with an answering machine. According to these websites there are also a bank and a real estate agency in Seborga, all at the same address.
It’s not difficult to find more disturbing examples. If you type in to the Google search engine the words "University" and "Seborga", you may find many other similar sites. On one website, always in English, there are seminars of alternative medicine starting from the 10 of April 2006.
If you follow the indications for registration you can find the related fees to these courses.
If you continue to search you will find that in Seborga there are also the offices of the West Coast University (WCU) “… to serve the students from European and other countries…”
In Piazza dei Martiri, according to others websites, you can find the Hardwood University Seborga or the Keller International University of Seborga that offer courses in design, music and information technology. Now that the Italian Police have been informed of this matter with a detailed report that would indicate acts of fraud via internet, they may soon start an investigation. (SeborgaPress & La Stampa)

24 January 2006


H.R.H. Prince George I, at 70 years of age and after 43 years of uninterrupted reign, has announced his abdication. It will be the task of the population of the small Principality to name its successor, by election and conducted in complete autonomy, as it happened in 1963 when the Prince was crowned for life with a plebiscite (from the 362 citizens).
In the sixty days of "vacant post" the eight ministers will continue to govern, together with the 24 Priori that form the Parliament.
The Prince's decision is irrevocable and was announced during a function in occasion of the Festivity of Saint Sebastian (20 January). The official explanation of this decision is because "there is need for renewal and the throne needs of new energy".
But behind the official explanation of this surprising event is a clash with the Mayor of Seborga, Franco Fogliarini, accused by the Prince of “not respecting the history of Seborga”.
The quarrel is in regard to the project of upgrading the area in front the ancient Cistercians Church of Saint Bernardo, a precious monument of 1258, than one legend says has guarded one sacred relic. The planners want to put modern paving around the Church while H.R.H. George I is of the opinion that the area should respect and reflect the architecture and the age of the place when - as the English historians wrote - "Seborga became the first constitutional monarchy of the world ".
"It is my strong wish to defend and preserve our history and our traditions, but, in my capacity as Prince, I cannot start a "war" with the Italian authority represented here by the Mayor", says George I. Some people in Seborga believe that this action from the Prince is just a provocation, an expedient to attract the attention of the public on this matter of grave concern for the Prince.
The question now is if the future successor will be able to continue to maintain the unique characteristics of the place and fulfil the plans of its predecessor. One thing is sure: George I has put Seborga on the world map and raised attention from all over the world. Despite there are being no hotels in Seborga, buses of tourists come everyday to Seborga, from all Europe, keeping all the local restaurants busy.
The origin of Seborga goes back to Centuries. Born as Castrum Sepulcri, Seborga was considered a sacred place for the Catars and still today has maintained a rebellious spirit. Later it become a feud of Conti di Ventimiglia and was consecrated in 1079, as Principality of the Sacred Roman Empire. In 1118 it was transformed in state Cistercians and it remained so until 1729 when it was purchased from Vittorio Amedeo. Many experts and historians from all Europe have been consulted about the validity of the status of the Principality.
H.R.H. George I never tires of repeating and declaring that "the Principato has never been entered as part of the Reign of Italy and – therefore - of the Italian Republic ", and his declaration has the support of many historians and the Catholic Church.
The German historian Wolfgang Schippke wrote in his book "The Mountain Roads of the Ligurian Coast" (Strade di montagna della costa ligure): "Benito Mussolini, in a document dated 1934 recently found in the Berlin archives, declared that "for sure the Principato di Seborga does not belong to Italy" ".
Meanwhile, since 1963 the Principality mints its currency, issuess stamps, number plates for the cars of its residents, guards its borders and maintains regular diplomatic relations with 45 States, including Europe.
The Seborga Times will keep you posted for new developments on the matter.

03 January 2006

Food Trek: fresh porcini mushrooms...

Seborga, a hilltop village closer to Nice than to Genoa on Italy’s Ligurian coast, has attracted tourists since the 1960s by billing itself as Italy’s oldest independent principality. By capitalizing on a paperwork error and declaring himself King Giorgio I, a local flower grower managed to put Seborga and its products on the map. It turns out that Seborga was never officially included on the list of principalities in the 1861 Act of Unification of Italy.
Today tour buses and families head up the hill for a taste of folklore, lunch and shopping. Regardless of its attempts to market itself as an independent state, Italian law prevails in Seborga and the euro is accepted everywhere. We cautiously approach the village, driving around the ancient walls and rounding several hairpin turns along the way. We expect a border crossing and are disappointed when we don't have to show our passports.
“Come in come in, I’ll have a table ready for you at 12:30,” the man gestured towards the back of the restaurant as we stood reading the menu. Seeing that the daily special was fresh porcini mushrooms, we nodded enthusiastically and decided to tour the village before lunch. The sights are easily covered in 45 minutes, but if you stop and talk to the locals you should plan on spending 1 to 2 hours.
Make sure to stop and visit 85 year old Renata Leone in her shop, U Cuntadin, where she sells pestos, marinated peppers, olives and many other preserved vegetables from her garden. The tiny cave-like space is decorated in blue and white, Seborga’s colors, and covered with displays of old garden tools and photos of Renata with her family. My Italian is not so good, but fortunately Renata speaks French having worked in France before the war (World War II). She tells me about the busier tourist season in Summer and Spring and that her family was one of the first to sell products made in Seborga. I leave with some pesto and promise to return soon.
I stop for more food souvenirs at Ruppe Mini Market, also known as Chez Josy, down by the church and stock up on various almond cookies; these pasta alla mandorla are made in Seborga and even the label is handwritten. The official Seborga label on the bag contains information in English about the town and a sticker with the blue and white coat of arms adorns the front, a blue ribbon holds it all together. The packaging in this town is very well coordinated; all the labels in the shops are printed in white and blue and carry the official Seborga coat of arms. I am beginning to suspect that Giorgio (may I call a King by his first name?) actually worked as a marketing executive in a previous life.
Before lunch I had time for one more stop: Il Cavaliere, a shop selling everything related to medieval knights: suits of armor, knives, swords, mace, you name it. Before Seborga became a tourist destination, it was a Principality of the Holy Roman Empire and therefore heavily guarded. In 1079 it became the first cistercian state and it was where in 1118 the first 9 templars were ordained. But, that's really ancient history.
We were having lunch at Il Principe, one of three restaurants in Seborga. The owner, Mr. Ferrari, is known not for cars but for being Seborga’s foreign minister. Like most residents in this village, he speaks fluent French and is a gracious host. We are seated at a table on the covered back terrace where we can touch the fig trees if we reach out far enough. We dine under a portrait of King Giorgio and with a view of the Mediterranean a few miles away. Porcini mushroom tagliatelle and veal with sautéed porcinis satisfy our craving for the local delicacy. The food is simple, not extraordinary, but the setting and the characters in this village are out of this world. Other dining options in Seborga include Hosteria del Coniglio and Taverna Templare, a cheaper eatery on the main square.

If you go:
Il Principe: Piazza Martini Patrioti, 6 Seborga 18012 (IM) Principato di Seborga Tel/Fax: +39 0184 223570.
U Cuntadin: Via Maccario, Seborga 18012 (IM) Principato di Seborga.
(Source: Food Trek http://foodtrek.blogspot.com)