Republic of Rose Island

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Republic of Rose Island
Respubliko de la Insulo de la Rozoj

Flag of Rose Island.pngCoat of arms of Rose Island.png

Adriatic Sea between Cesenatico and Rimini, Italy
Official language(s)Esperanto
Short nameRose Island
GovernmentRepublic
- PresidentGiorgio Rosa
Established24 June 1968
Disestablished1969
Area claimed0.0004 km2 (0 sq mi)
Currencymilo (used in stamps; no coins or notes are known to have been printed)

The Republic of Rose Island (Esperanto: Respubliko de la Insulo de la Rozoj) 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.

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 a post office. Some reports also mention the presence of a radio station, but this remains unconfirmed.

The platform declared independence on 24 June 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 a stamp showing the approximate location of Rose Island in the Adriatic Sea. The purported currency of the republic was the "Mill" and this appeared on the 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 "Isola delle Rose" 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, 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.

See also