Monarquía de Tavolara.


GIUSEPPE BARTOLEONI (1780?-1848?), King of Tavolara.

One day in 1833, Carlo Alberto (1798-1848), King of Sardinia, instructed the captain of his ship to leave him on the island of Tavolara-located off the coast of Sardinia- for a few hours of solitary hunting. After a short time, the king was approached by a huge man more than 7 ft tall. The man was the sole inhabitant of the island, and the king was so impressed with his harmonious lifestyle that he declared him King of Tavolara. The hermit identified himself as Giuseppe Bartoleoni, a shepherd from Maddalena- an island north of Sardinia. Carlo Alberto found this hard to believe. Most people of the time- especially peasants- were illiterate, but Giuseppe was fluent in several languages and extremely well-educated. He was also the head of two families; one wife and children lived on another island while a second wife and children lived on yet a third island. He sent for both to live with him in his new kingdom and, because he was sovereign, the Italian government failed in its attempt to prosecute him for bigamy. Paolo, his eldest son, was named his successor upon his father’s death in the late 1840s. When Paolo died 50 years later, the inhabitants of Tavolara proclaimed a republic.

The Book of Lists.