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An Exiled Italian Prince Has Started Selling Pasta From a Food Truck

Will Smith may be the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, but California has a new prince in town, and he’s selling pasta out of a food truck.

Will Smith may be the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, but California has a new prince in town, and he's selling pasta out of a food truck.

The thing is, though, this new prince is a real prince—at least if you consider the grandson of Italy's last king to be a prince. The nation became a republic in 1946 when the monarchy of the House of Savoy formally ended. Emanuele Filiberto is the only heir to Italy's exiled king Umberto II, who reigned for a little over a month before the ages-old monarchy came to an end. Filiberto grew up in exile in Geneva and only set foot in Italy for the first time in 2002.

If you think about it, being an heir to a no-longer-existent throne is kind of a neither-here-nor-there thing to be. So what does the grandson of a deposed monarch do to keep busy, at least until the reinstatement of the monarchy (an extremely unlikely event, indeed)?

He goes to California and buys a food truck, of course.

Emanuele Filiberto de Savoy, 44, has turned a cold shoulder on polo-playing, counting golden trinkets, and whatever else royal Blue Bloods do to pass the time. Instead, he has competed on Italy's equivalent of Dancing with the Stars. He also starred in commercials for things like e-cigarettes that promise to get you laid and olives that make you "feel like a king." No, we're not kidding.

But then Filiberto took a trip to California and was inspired by the food trucks he saw there. "They were all so beautiful, so colorful," he said. "But they were all selling Mexican or Asian food and nobody was selling Italian pasta."

In a eureka moment, Filiberto decided that America needed more Italian food—or at least more Italian food sold from a food truck. He promptly bought a truck, painted it the colors of the House of Savoy—royal blue, natch—and dubbed himself "The Prince of Venice." That's his actual claim to a title, even though it's not recognized by the Italian government.

Seafood fettuccine? Filiberto has you covered for $15. His truffle linguine costs $16. Filiberto says he is delivering a bargain: "Dishes like this would cost more than $30 in a restaurant."

And where in America can you be served by a real Italian prince? If only all deposed monarchies would spend their time selling pasta from a truck.