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What To Know About Visiting Seborga, A Destination Unlike Any Other In Italy

Church of San Martino. Photo Catherine Sabino.

By Catherine Sabino

Italy may be best known for its epochal cities and dazzling seaside havens, but the country’s hilltop towns and borghi—medieval throwbacks found from the Alpine north to Sicily—also draw throngs of visitors—more than three million trek to San Gimignano alone each year. While the most popular hilltops are in Tuscany and Umbria, you’ll find the most unusual one, Seborga, on the western Italian Riviera, not far from the French border. Yes, Seborga has all the bells and whistles you might expect of an Italian hill town—a palace fortress, cobblestone alleys barely an arm span in width, knock-out views and hyper-local rustic cuisine, but in addition it has a ceremonial head of state who is an elected prince or princess, its own currency, stamps, and national anthem. Seborga’s recent history, unlike that of any other village in Italy, centers on a decades-long quest to become a stand-alone principality, like Monaco, which on clear days, you can see from one of its lookouts … continue reading



Catherine Sabino has worked for magazines in Italy and the US, and was editor-in-chief of Forbes Special Interest Publications, Gotham Magazine and Four Seasons Magazine, a travel and lifestyle publication. In addition to living and going to school in Italy, she has written two books on Italian design, published by Crown/Clarkson Potter, and has produced features from many regions in Italy and countries in Europe. Her focus is on travel in Italy and Western Europe.

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