Republic of Rose Island

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Republic of Rose Island

  • Respubliko de la Insulo de la Rozoj
  • Repubblica dell'Isola delle Rose
Flag of Republic of Rose Island
Coat of Arms of Republic of Rose Island
Coat of Arms
Anthem: Steuermann! Laß die Wacht!
Location of Republic of Rose Island
StatusDefunct (area taken by Italy)
LocationAdriatic Sea between Cesenatico and Rimini, Italy
Official languagesEsperanto
Organizational structureRepublic
• President
Giorgio Rosa
• Declared
24 June 1968 (1968-06-24)
Area claimed
• Total
0.0004 km2 (0.00015 sq mi)
Purported currencymilo (used in stamps; no coins or notes are known to have been printed)
President of Rose Island
Giorgio Rosa

since 24 June 1968
Formation24 June 1968
Abolished1968 de facto

The Republic of Rose Island (Esperanto: Respubliko de la Insulo de la Rozoj; Italian: Repubblica dell'Isola delle Rose) was a short-lived micronation on a man-made platform in the Adriatic Sea, 11 kilometres (6.8 mi) off the coast of the province of Rimini, Italy.

It was built by Italian engineer Giorgio Rosa, who made himself its president and declared it an independent state on 1 May 1968.[1][2] Rose Island had its own government, currency, post office, and commercial establishments, and the official language was Esperanto.[1] However, it was never formally recognized as a sovereign state by any country of the world. Viewed by the Italian government as a ploy by Rosa to raise money from tourists while avoiding national taxation, Rose Island was occupied by the Italian police forces on 26 June 1968, subject to naval blockade, and eventually demolished on February 1969.[3][4]

Since the first decade of the 2000s, Rose Island's history has been the subject of documentary research and rediscoveries based on the utopian aspect of its genesis.[5]


The entity that was to be established on the artificial platform took the name, in the Esperanto language, of Libera Teritorio de la Insulo de la Rozoj (in Italian: Libero Territorio dell'Isola delle Rose), which later became Esperanta Respubliko de la Insulo de la Rozoj (Esperanto Republic of the Isle of Roses). Its official periodical was entitled Osservatore Domenicano, published in collaboration with the Dominican fathers of Bologna, to whom Rosa was closely linked.

It is believed that the Esperanto term Rozoj (in Italian: rose) was borrowed from the surname of Giorgio Rosa, designer and builder of the artificial platform, as well as the creator and inspirer of the state entity, as well as from his desire to "see roses bloom on the sea".[6]


In 1967, Italian engineer Giorgio Rosa funded the construction of a 400-square-metre (4,300 sq ft) platform supported by nine pylons, and furnished it with a number of commercial establishments, including a restaurant, bar, nightclub, souvenir shop, and post office. Some reports also mention the presence of a radio station, but this remains unconfirmed.

The platform declared independence on 1 May 1968, under the Esperanto name Insulo de la Rozoj, with Rosa as self-declared president. Both Esperanto rozo (plural rozoj) and Italian rosa (plural rose) mean "rose". Soon afterwards, Rose Island issued a number of stamps, including one showing the approximate location of Rose Island in the Adriatic Sea. The purported currency of the republic was the Mill, and this appeared on early stamp issues, although no coins or banknotes are known to have been produced. This denomination was translated into Esperanto as Miloj on later stamp issues (it is unrelated to the Esperantist currency spesmilo).

Rosa's actions were viewed by the Italian government as a ploy to raise money from tourists while avoiding national taxation. Whether or not this was the real reason behind Rosa's micronation, the Italian government's response was swift: a group of four carabinieri and Guardia di Finanza officers landed on the island and assumed control. The platform's Council of Government is said to have sent a telegram, presumably to the Italian government, to protest the "violation of its sovereignty and the injury inflicted on local tourism by the military occupation", but this was ignored.

On 13 February 1969,[7] the Italian Navy used explosives to destroy the facility, an act later portrayed on postage stamps issued by Rosa's self-declared government in exile. Only one death was counted but never confirmed: apparently, Rosa's dog was on the platform during the facility's detonation.

Rosa died in 2017, having given his blessing for a film to be made about Rose Island. This was released in 2020.[8]

In popular culture[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Marco Imarisio. "Riemerge l'isola dell'Utopia". Corriere della Sera (in Italian).
  2. ^ "Piattaforma davanti a Rimini proclamata "Stato indipendente"". La Stampa (in Italian).
  3. ^ Edda Montemaggi. "La polizia ha già occupato l'isola artificiale di Rimini". Stampa Sera (in Italian).
  4. ^ Edda Montemaggi. "Circondato dalle motovedette lo "Stato" al largo di Rimini". La Stampa (in Italian).
  5. ^ Fabio Vaccarezza. Rose Island: A Dream of Freedom. The Cinderella Philatelist. pp. 42–46.
  6. ^ "Isola Delle Rose" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 December 2007.
  7. ^ "When Italy went to war with the esperanto micro-nation Insulo de la Rozoj",, date 09/05/2009
  8. ^ "Rose Island: Netflix adapts the story of 'prince of anarchists' Giorgio Rosa". 7 December 2020 – via
  9. ^ [Scheda di Martin Mystere n 193 L'isola delle Rose
  10. ^ "Rose Island: Netflix adapts the story of 'prince of anarchists' Giorgio Rosa". BBC. 7 December 2020. Retrieved 9 December 2020.

Further reading[edit]

  • Vaccarezza, Fabio (January 2007). "Rose Island: A Dream of Freedom". The Cinderella Philatelist: 42–46. ISSN 0009-6911.
  • Strauss, Erwin S. (1984). How to Start Your Own Country (2nd ed.). Port Townsend, WA: Breakout Productions. pp. 129–130. ISBN 1-893626-15-6.
  • Menefee, Samuel Pyeatt (Fall 1994). "'Republics of the Reefs': Nation-Building on the Continental Shelf and in the World's Oceans". California Western International Law Journal. 25 (1): 105–06. ISSN 0886-3210.

External links[edit]