Rose Island was built in 1967 by Italian engineer Giorgio Rosa, just outside of Italy’s territorial waters. Rosa proclaimed himself president and declared the independence of ‘Respubliko de la Insulo de la Rozoj’ on 24th June, 1968.
24th June, 1968
The Republic of Rose Island 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.
Platform symbol of
freedom and openminded
It was the brainchild of Giorgio Rosa, engineer from Bologna with links to the former “Republic of Salò” during WW II. His aim was to create a state that was completely independent from Italy. It had its own system of taxation and would finance itself
To be precise, it was 1 May 1968 when this 400-sqm stilt house built over the water on a structure of steel tubes.
A manmade work at 6.27 nautical miles off the coast and thus 500 metres outside Italian national waters.
This manmade platform was intended as a kind of utopia after Thomas More: a model, free micro-nation detached from the Italian state. It had its own flag, its own currency (the Mill), Its own postage stamps and even its own official auxiliary language, Esperanto.
The papers soon picked up on the story, which was on everybody’s lips not least because of the myths that were swirling around it.
Word had it that the island was a haven for casinos, bordellos and a pirate radio station. That it was the hub of an international spy ring. That it was even a Soviet submarine base.
Although no evidence of any of this was ever found, of course, Rosa’s dream was dead in the water. Not even two months after the official opening, the harbourmaster and the finance police surrounded the island on 25 June 1968,.
In February 1969, Italian navy divers began work to demolish it, deploying kilos of explosives. But even a second blast was enough to sink it, and a storm on 26 February 1969 to finish the job.