Giorgio Carbone, 73, a flower merchant turned prince known to his subjects as "His Tremendousness," died Nov. 25 at his home in Seborga, the medieval town near the Italian Riviera that he and 300 or so followers declared a sovereign state. He had amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease.

Mr. Carbone - Prince Giorgio I to his townspeople and ministers - attracted international media attention in 1995 when he led the village of Seborga in a vote for independence from Italy. Those in favor won, 304-4, and he became prince for life. Trappings of the principality include a constitution, a generic military march for a national anthem, and an official motto: Sub umbra sede, or "Sit in the shade."

Today Seborga draws about 2,000 visitors a month, said Mayor Franco Fogliarini, who is Mr. Carbone's second cousin.

The Italian government continues to provide public services to the town and looked at Mr. Carbone with bored resignation, as if independence were little more than a publicity stunt. To Mr. Carbone, the cause was real. He long had an interest in Seborgan history, Fogliarini said, and in the 1960s, the two began publicly advocating for independence. - Washington Post