Kingdom of Tavolara
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|Kingdom of Tavolara
Regno di Tavolara
Location of Tavolara off Sardinia
|Capital||La Punta del Canone|
|-||Ceded to Italy||19341|
|-||Occupied by Italy||1962|
|-||1900||5 km² (2 sq mi)|
|Density||11 /km² (28.5 /sq mi)|
|1Italy never formally annexed the island, but occupied much of its territory in 1962.|
The Kingdom of Tavolara was a small state claiming independence in the 19th and 20th centuries in Tavolara Island, off the northeast coast of Sardinia. Ruled by the Bertoleoni family, it was one of the smallest kingdoms in the world. It is now de facto part of Italy, although it was never formally annexed.
In 1836, King Charles Albert of Sardinia visited the island and acknowledged Giuseppe Bertoleoni as an independent sovereign monarch.[dubious ] When he died in the 1840s, his eldest son became King Paolo I. Documents dating to 1767 affirm that Tavolara had never been a part of the Kingdom of Sardinia. Reportedly, British Queen Victoria also recognized the sovereignty of Tavolara.[dubious ]
Tavolara was not included in the Italian unification, and King Paolo actively sought and obtained recognition from Italy. During his reign, in 1861 the Italian government paid 12,000 lire for land at the northeast end of the island to build a lighthouse, which began operating in 1868. Tavolara's sovereignty was reconfirmed in 1903, when Victor Emmanuel III of Italy signed a treaty of friendship with the nation.[dubious ]
After Paolo's death in 1886, a number of newspapers published the report that according to his will, the island had become a republic. The New York Times described a government with president and council of six elected every six years by a vote of the people, male and female. Others reported on Tavolara's alleged third presidential election in 1896. These reports, however, were erroneous, based on mere rumors.
The third king of Tavolara was Carlo I, who was succeeded upon his death in 1928 by his son King Paolo II. Paolo went abroad, however, and left Carlo's sister Mariangela as regent in his absence. Queen Mariangela died in 1934, leaving the kingdom to Italy.
Her nephew Paolo II still claimed the kingdom, however, and ruled it until his death in 1962. That year marked the installation of a NATO station and the effective end of Tavolaran sovereignty.
The present King Tonino of Tavolara is an Italian citizen named Tonino Bertoleoni, who runs "Da Tonino", a restaurant on the island. Politically, the interests of the island are represented in its external dealings by Prince Ernesto Geremia di Tavolara of La Spezia, Italy, who has written a history of the island.
The royal tomb of King Paolo I is in the graveyard on the island, surmounted by a crown.
See also 
- Meissner, Hans Otto (1963). Unknown Europe. trans. Florence and Isabel McHugh. London and Glasgow: Blackie & Sons. p. 27.
- Wallechinsky, David, and Amy Wallace (2005), The New Book of Lists, pp 383-384, ISBN 1-84195-719-4
- The island realm of an `ordinary' king - The Star
- "La République de Tavolara". A travers le monde aux pays inconnus. Paris: Librairie Hachette. 1896. p. 176.
- "Notice to Mariners," London Gazette, Aug 28, 1868, p 4734
- "Tiny Republic Signs Treaty," Atlanta Constitution, Nov 22, 1903, p10
- "E morto il Re!" La Sardegna, June 8, 1886, p 1
- "Smallest State in the World" (PDF). New York Times. June 19, 1896. p. 6.
- "Tiny Nation to Vote: Smallest Republic in the World to Hold a Presidential Election," Lowell Daily Sun, Sep 17, 1896
- "Nation of 55 People: Republic of Tavolara in Its Third Presidential Campaign" Boston Globe, Jan 10, 1897, p 34
- Meissner, Hans Otto (1963). Unknown Europe. trans. Florence and Isabel McHugh. London and Glasgow: Blackie & Sons. p. 23.
- "Tavolara's King Dies; Ruled Tiniest Realm; Charles Bartoleoni Was Monarch of Small Island Off Sardinia's Coast". New York Times. February 1, 1928. p. 27. Retrieved 7 September 2009.
- "Italy Gets Queen's Island of Tavolara," Hartford Courant, July 9, 1934, p 15
- Geremia, Ernesto Carlo, and Gino Ragnetti (2005), Tavolara - l'Isola dei Re, ISBN 88-425-3441-2
- Fioretti, Ovidio, "La corona senza reame," Almanacco di Cagliari 1989
- Geremia, Ernesto Carlo; Gino Ragnetti (2005). Tavolara - l'Isola dei Re. ISBN 88-425-3441-2.