1667437051 The story of Ravennas surveyor who wanted to be a

The story of “Ravenna’s surveyor who wanted to be a prince”, Gianni Rolando Principe di San Bernardino, told by Milena Gabanelli in

On DATAROOM, her column on Corriere della Sera online, Milena Gabanelli, with the support of Mario Gerevini, tells the fantastic story of the “Ravenna surveyor who wanted to be a prince”. This is the story of Gianni Rolando – father of perhaps the best known Ravenna Gianfilippo Nicola Rolando, League Councilor – who founded a very small principality in the Red Sea, between Yemen and Eritrea, in 2013 when “A whole new small volcanic island appeared and then he claimed it with the deed of a notary of San Marino and christened it San Bernardino. Thus the surveyor became “His Serene Highness Gianni Rolando Prince of San Bernardino”. After almost 10 years, with some ninety appointments among ministers, ambassadors and chaplains, His Serene Highness, 69, former 500cc World Championship rider, still heads the principality, which is “founded on legal acts” and governed by a constitution , with its own currency, the Pax, and diplomatic missions. Including the Consulate General in Italy at Via Barberini 11 in Rome.”

“Since everything is true, it is not a fairy tale and it has been running since 2013,” write Gabanelli and Gerevini, “we went to Via Barberini, but before that, at the source of facts, the submarine volcanic eruption. From there we travel between real notaries and fake deeds, foundations, charities, donations via PayPal, putative lords and unlikely countesses in a parallel world: a fusion of true (little), probable (very) and grotesque (everything). While we were there, we asked how to get citizenship: you fill out a form and attach documents and the receipt of a “humanitarian donation” of 250 euros to the Fias-International Social Assistance Foundation in an account of a Bulgarian bank at. After our phone call to clarify, the donation became “free” on the site.”

A true story, known to someone and told by few. Maybe because it’s hard to believe all this. But Milena Gabanelli and her collaborator did a very good job reading it and got a very pleasing result. Rolando’s adventure begins in late 2011, when local fishermen “witness the eruptions of an underwater volcano spewing out a lava island in the Red Sea off the west coast of Yemen, in the Zubair Archipelago, on the ridge between the African and Arabian plates.”

Gianni Rolando immediately claims it, claiming it is in international waters and belongs to no one. So, on September 30, 2013, the Ravenna surveyor placed his virtual flag on the islet and took possession of it. But that’s not all. “He claims that the Principality enjoys “judicial and fiscal immunities”, that “the provisions of its courts have the character of judicial measures of a foreign state”. In the meantime Columbus was in America, Rolando never on his island. But it doesn’t matter because “we will have territories and commands on all five continents”, essentially “one network state”. – write the two journalists in the Corriere della Sera – Meetings that actually took place and were sealed by photos with consular representatives and embassy officials, mostly from African countries, would demonstrate the beginning of diplomatic relations, a kind of recognition of the principality in the formalization phase.” Among the courtesy correspondence also the one with the late Queen Elizabeth.

The site

Screenshot of the Principality’s website

real house


The Heritage

The Heritage

The emblem

The emblem

“The ‘Royal House’ of the Principality of San Bernardino, as stated on the government’s official website (experience not to be missed), also includes His Highness’ son, Crown Prince Gianfilippo Nicola Rolando, 43, son of His Highness, Plumbing technician at Master Clima in Faenza and member of the Council of the League in the Municipality of Ravenna for years. ” He was also a candidate in the 2020 regional elections for the League and is now even the leader of the parliamentary group in the Palazzo Merlato, things that Milena Gabanelli and Mario Gerevini may not know or have not considered bringing to their contribution, little interest the scion. Just as they don’t know or report that the heir was a proud supporter of President Trump and all the presidency-related conspiracy theories, a staunch opponent of the government’s anti-Covid measures, and that in October 2021 he attempted to set himself the head of the no- Vax protests that wanted to block the activities of the port of Ravenna to emulate the events of Trieste.

But back to the Rolando father, who rules, the Corriere journalists report, “in a clever mode of rule on a tiny strip of lava rock, from which rises a pharaonic political-institutional superstructure with a diplomatic corps that is the envy of the great nations. In his brilliant way, but the smoke is so big you can barely see the roast. But the seat of the Secretariat of State and the Consulate General in Italy in Via Barberini in Rome really exists. “HE Lord Rocco Milano – Secretary of State” (business card) opens us. He guarantees that they will process “several hundred” citizenship applications. Offices are shared with the Fias Foundation on the first floor of an elegant building. On the wall of the meeting room are the coat of arms of the Principality and the photo of Gianni Rolando in Rococo ceremonial costume looking down on us. A plaque shows graphs and notes from a previous meeting that described the fias, chaired and led by San Bernardino’s number two, Rocco Milano, as the principality’s treasury. A close bond born about 4 years ago. Fias is a non-profit organization, also based in Romania, with a gigantic organizational chart, in inverse proportion to the activity carried out (or rather declared): 56 professionals including 6 in the legal department and then in the food department, research office, insurance department, development center European projects, etc Despite four auditors, one treasury manager and two in accounting, there are no annual financial statements or serious reports on the activities. The axis with the principality is made of iron. So much so that the potential revenue for citizenship goes to the fias accounts, while registrations for the Hospital Orders of San Bernardino (2,500 euros, with the purpose of “humanitarian donation”) are made through an account held by the Prince with the German online bank N26 to run . Even if everything was frozen for the time being. His Excellency Milan says that many ambassadors from other nations have passed through these rooms, that “the Principality’s mission is to operate in the social sphere through the International Relief Corps”, that the official currency, the Pax, will be a cryptocurrency and that ” The first thing we will do is to help Italy, which lacks autonomy and is subject to Europe, which decides its fate ». All of this was presumably preceded by a Rolando-Mattarella summit.”

A fundamental point for Gabanelli and Gerevini is the legal bases that the principality claims to possess: “its own territory in the Red Sea, legally and publicly claimed. The international recognition – they protest acrobatic – is proven by a notorious document, which was drawn up in San Marino on 09/30/2013 and confirmed by the apostille of the Titan external secretariat of 10/07/2013. Real documents from a real notary. But you have to read it: Rolando receives the investiture as “regent” of the newborn island after a “popular consultation” (at the bar?) and thanks to a “diplomatic note” from the “Governor of Amomu, Hon. Reverendissimo Cesidio Talini”. Amomu stands for the United Nations Multi-Oceanic Archipelago and Most Venerable as “Bishop of the Cesidian Church. Count Mascetti-Tognazzi would sum it all up in one super… word. That would be international recognition, however. The New York Times covered Tallini many years ago because he, a Long Island resident, signed himself as “Governor of Independent Long Island” and issued communiqués for secession from New York and the United States. Failed design, according to Tallini, due to CIA intervention. More specifically, His Highness of Ravenna, which, in order to demonstrate the legitimacy of the Kingdom, also unveiled an “Arbitral Decision recognizing the Principality, passed on 02/01/2017 vo made enforceable in the ordinary court of Sassari”. But you have to read it. It is the story of a man from Genoa, president of a society of nobles, who was inexplicably skeptical of the title of prince attributed by Rolando himself; essentially, she thought he was a charlatan. The dispute was settled by the appointment of three arbitrators, who eventually agreed with Rolando: “He is truly the prince of the sovereign state of San Bernardino, with the privilege of diplomatic immunity and the right of extraterritoriality in his residence.” After that, the decision was simply submitted for enforcement to the court of Sassari, which never dealt with the matter. Why Sasari? Casimiro Mastino, a lawyer from Sassari, was one of the arbitrators and is now a senior state representative with the rank of Lord Minister of Justice, Ethics and Morality. Foreigners, on the other hand, are referred to as “Lady Countess Djarsa Premoli”, but the list of ministers and officials is endless.”

The two journalists also call the prince: Rolando replies and confirms that he has never been to the island, adding that it would be impossible now because it is in the hands of pirates. “However, the Red Sea seems to have played a terrible trick on the prince. By setting the geographic coordinates obtained from the official documents on Google Maps (15.1588 N latitude and 42.1019 E longitude), even at maximum magnification, that is, with the ability to frame tiny rocks from the satellite, the island cannot be seen. Gone, the sea has recovered. We say to Mr. Rolando: his principality no longer exists. A few seconds of silence. Then he replies: «The island has disappeared to a certain point; every now and then it reappears, it depends on the tides ». And if he turns up again, he will be the only undeniable prince of San Bernardino, the island that exists and does not exist.” So concludes the article in Corriere della Sera, of which we have reported in large excerpts. The whole story on DATAROOM from Corriere della Sera online Don’t miss it.