Ex-St Wilfrid's student in line to be an Italian prince

Could a Crawley man become an Italian prince?

Wednesday, 12th April 2017, 10:10 am
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 6:36 pm
Mark Dezzani, 55, is standing for election for the next Prince of Seborga

Mark Dezzani, 55, is standing for election for the next Prince of Seborga, a small town in the region of Liguria in northwest Italy.

The former St Wilfrid’s student has made it to the last two finalists and will find out if he has claimed the title on April 23.

About 150 people have registered to vote.

The former St Wilfrid's student has made it to the last two finalists. Picture: Kaidi Knox

The 55-year-old will go head to head with the current ruler of the small territory, His Tremendousness Marcello I, a businessman and speedboat champion.

If Mark wins the honour, he will take the title of ‘His Temendousness’.

He said: “I love this place. It is in a very beautiful setting, a fascinating and unique history and a wonderful community that have inspired me in good times and supported me in difficult times. So it is an honour to be a candidate for the title.

“It is surreal to be one of the two final candidates selected for election by the people of Seborga and it does carry a responsibility to represent this marvellous place, but also I intend to help bring some fun back to Seborga in these divisive and economically difficult times.

The former St Wilfrid's student has made it to the last two finalists. Picture: Kaidi Knox

“Seborga, like many other hilltop towns along the coast of Liguria in Italy faces economic problems and depopulation, but thanks to it’s unique history as an independent principality, I believe that I can give back to the village and with my communication skills as a broadcaster and journalist, help to raise the profile of Seborga to promote tourism.”

Mark, who was born in Crawley and lived in Furnace Green, left for the idyllic hilltop village overlooking the Italian Riviera in 1982.

He went to work for Radio Nova International, an English language radio station broadcasting from Seborga to the Cote d’Azur and South of France.

He currently runs a weekly show on the former offshore pirate radio station Radio Caroline every Tuesday and freelances at Riviera Radio in Monaco.

He went to St Wilfrid’s Catholic Comprehensive School where he was head boy.

He has plans, if he gets the title.

He said: “Marcello is proposing to build a five star hotel on the hillside overlooking the village. I am opposed to the project as it would ruin the natural beauty of the countryside around Seborga.

“My point of view is that Seborga is not Monaco. We were ruled by monks and were a poor principality.

“I am very much for expanding tourism, I just believe that a five star hotel is not viable or suitable. We have plenty of excellent B&Bs that need filling up year round.

“The project in my opinion is just exploitative speculation.”

Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.

Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.

1) Make our website your homepage

2) Like our Facebook page

3) Follow us on Twitter

4) Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.

And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!

Always the first with your local news.

Be part of it.