By Steven McIntosh
Entertainment reporter

Publishedduration13 hours agoshareSharenocloseShare pagelinkCopy linkAbout sharingimage copyrightLorenzo Rosa/Netfliximage captionThe story of Rose Island has now been made into a film by Netflix

In the late 1960s, an Italian engineer built his own island in the Adriatic sea, which housed a restaurant, bar, souvenir shop and even a post office. It is an extraordinary story, which has gone largely untold for decades.

That's about to change with the release of Rose Island, a new Netflix film which follows the true story of Giorgio Rosa and his battle with the Italian authorities for his self-made structure to be recognised as an independent state.

The story is likely to have passed you by unless you happen to live in the north Italian city of Rimini, off the coast of which Rosa built his utopian micro-nation.

"It's the sort of tale in Rimini that grandparents tell their children and grandchildren," explains the film's producer Matteo Rovere. "It's a very famous story, but only in Rimini. We thought it was an incredible story, and very strange that we didn't know about it."

Prior to his death in 2017 at the age of 92, Rosa met with the film-makers and, after a bit of persuasion on their part, gave them his blessing to adapt the story for the screen. The resulting film depicts the construction of the island, and Rosa's refusal to give in to the Italian government's demands that it be dismantled.