Bertoleoni is the ruling family of the Kingdom of Tavolara (Sardinia, Italy), which supposedly was the smallest kingdom of the world (now extinguished, for practical purposes).
Charles Albert, King of Sardinia, appointed Giuseppe Bertoleoni king of Tavolara in 1836. He also sanctioned the use of the title "Prince" for the oldest male heir, and the titles "Lord of the Islands" (Signor delle Isole) and "Lady of the Sea" (Signora del Mare) for the younger children of the king.
The present king is Tonino, an Italian citizen who runs Da Tonino, a restaurant on the island.
Born December 20, 1778, on the nearby island of Maddalena, Giuseppe Celestino Bertoleoni Poli was a shepherd and the only inhabitant of the island before Charles Albert's visit. He impressed him as an educated man and was made king of the island shortly thereafter. He brought his two families from other islands to live with him. The Italian government tried to prosecute him for bigamy, but failed because of his title. Passed kingdom to son Paolo in 1845; died 1849. Giuseppe's origins are a mystery. Because he seemed more highly educated than the average Sardinian shepherd, some have speculated that he was a fugitive member of the Carbonari, an exiled French aristocrat, or even the Lost Dauphin.
Paolo I (1845-1886)
Son of Giuseppe Bertoleoni and Laura Ornano, born 1815. In 1839 he visited King Charles Albert in Turin and obtained a royal charter to Tavolara. During this period, the Italian patriot Giuseppe Garibaldi was associated with the Bertoleoni family, often visiting Paolo's relatives on the islands of La Maddalena and Caprera.
After the creation of the Italian Kingdom in 1861, Paolo pressed and obtained recognition for Tavolara from Victor Emmanuel II. After he fell ill in 1882, his wife Pasqua Favale acted as regent until his death on May 30, 1886. A number of newspapers published the report that on his deathbed he asked that the kingdom die with him, and that the people therefore established a republic. These reports, however, were erroneous.
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