Principality of Benesuolo
Principato del Benesuolo
Benesuolo is shown in light pink, next to the Grand Republic of Jessaronno. Click the map to enlarge.
and largest city
|Ethnic groups |
|Government||Federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy|
|Renato di Speziale|
• President of the Government
|Ilse Erika von Freyaelv|
• Federal Chancellor
• Established by Royal Land Grant
|April 22nd, 1704 CE|
• Constitutional Monarchy Established
|July 10th, 1984 CE|
|775.42 km2 (299.39 sq mi)|
• 2020 estimate
The Principality of Benesuolo (Volscine: Principato del Benesuolo) is a principality, one of the various internal sub-divisions of the Volscine Empire. It is known primarily for its wine production and financial services industry. Benesuolo was established in 1714 when the Volscine crown issued a land grant to Giovanni di Speziale, a merchant favored by the court. The grant included a manor on a large vineyard, and Giovanni quickly took a keen interest in winemaking. The Di Speziale family is still involved in winemaking today, operating the largest vineyard in the state. In addition to its characteristic wine, Benesuolo is famous for its Honor Guard, a ceremonial military unit outfitted with plate armor and halberds that guards the Di Speziale estate and government buildings in the principality.
The principal settlement in Benesuolo is the city of Benesuolo, which gave its name to the principality. The city of Benesuolo and its surrounding suburban area contains an estimated 218,000 people. Of these, some 158,000 live within the borders of the Principality, comprising almost 75% of the principality's population. The remaining people in the Benesuolo metro area live on the Jessern side of the border. The city has a sizable financial services industry, and is a regional banking hub. Benesuolo regularly touts its relatively lax regulatory environment compared to neighboring jurisdictions as a reason for corporate headquarters to relocate there. The city is roughly halfway between the major cities of Amboss and Stoppsmund in the northwest of the Volscine Peninsula and long served as a major commercial hub in between them.
The hereditary Princes of Benesuolo also hold the title "Arch-Treasurer," or Arcitesoriere. The title is a ceremonial one, only having formal duties in the coronation of the Emperor, but it grants the Prince of Benesuolo the place of first among Princes in the imperial order of precedence. Traditionally, the signature of the Arch-Treasurer appeared on all banknotes issued by Volscina, though this tradition was not observed during the era of the Volscine Confederation under George Gray. After the Volscine Civil War, Kaiserin Ilse-Erika von Freyaelv restored the Arch-Treasurer's signature to banknotes of the Volscine Note, widely seen as a gesture in recognition of Benesuolo's loyalty to the Von Freyaelv side during the war.
The title was granted first to Prince Valentino di Speziale in 1754 for "services rendered to the crown." Prince Valentino served as the chief negotiator representing the Volscine government in negotiations with Dallacqua over several sovereign debts. The resulting deal was very favorable to Volscina, with Volscina required to pay less than five percent of what it owed, and King Johann cited Prince Valentino's skill in negotiating as the primary reason.
Benesuolo wine is a protected origin label referring specifically and only to red wine made from grapes grown in Benesuolo. It is a very light-bodied red wine with relatively high acidity, and is often served chilled in the manner of white wine. Winemakers in Benesuolo also have a tradition of using a technique known as carbonic maceration, which makes Benesuolo wines distinctive from that of other areas. Benesuolo wine has been described as "the only white wine which happens to be red." It is known to be a favorite of Tavari Prime Minister Žarís Nevran Alandar, who it was reported by the Nuvrenon News received a bottle for her birthday from the Volscine Embassy and loved it so much she immediately ordered four more.
The far west of the principality is historically the home of the Rokoch people, a community of people descended from settlers who arrived centuries prior to colonization of the region by Asendavia and Tretrid that speak an isolated language believed to be related to Rodokan and Vesienvällic. As of 2020, there were an estimated 100 remaining native speakers of the language, making it among the world's most in danger of going extinct. The language saw marked decline in the 18th and 19th centuries and for long periods of time was banned in schools. However, in recent years efforts have begun to record the language and encourage teaching it to both children and adults.
Oral history of the Rokoch people says that they are descended from pirates or raiders that came from northern Novaris, some of whom decided to remain on the coast in what is now Benesuolo about two thousand years ago. Given the linguistic similarities to the Rodokan language, known to have been spoken by humans migrating south from Vesienväl along the coast of the Volscine Sea at the turn of the 1st century CE, it is theorized that the Rokoch people could be an offshoot from or relative to the Rodokan people, or that the area had been one stop the Rodokans made in their journey south. It is considered more likely by historians and anthropologists that Rodokans would have been in the area closer to 1,500 years ago. Some scattered archaeological evidence indicates the presence of a large settlement in the area dating to between 300-600 CE. Today, the area is exclusively rural and sparsely populated. Rokoch people have a reputation of being reclusive and distrustful of outsiders.