Many people assume titles of nobility just by having the same surname as the genuine nobles. Unfortunately (for them), today is very easy to have access to public records, official documents, etc.
Recently, Mr. Fabio Bevilacqua, a martial arts instructor, has been using the self-styled title of “Duke of Tornano” and also the “Grand Master” of the Order of the Redeemer. Both claims without showing a single document, except the fact that he is one of the 34,514 people in Italy with the Bevilacqua surname.
Mr. Bevilacqua proudly brags about the fact that he’s associated with the notorious Fake Prince of Montenegro that was arrested on several allegations.
Here are the news reports about the police activity
Police Hunt Fake Prince Who Met Pamela Anderson and Defrauded Restaurants https://www.newsweek.com/man-faked-being-montenegrin-prince-free-trips-meet-pamela-anderson-626006
Pamela Anderson among celebs fooled by fake Prince of Montenegro https://www.irishexaminer.com/lifestyle/celebrity/arid-30793944.html
Montenegrin President Seeks Probe After Fake Prince Attends State Event https://balkaninsight.com/2022/07/19/montenegrin-president-seeks-probe-after-fake-prince-attends-state-event/
Prince of Montenegro Stefan Cernetic is conman, say police https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4610320/Prince-Montenegro-Stefan-Cernetic-conman-say-police.html
Another serious problem with his claims: The 2014’s obituary of the REAL Duke of Tornano Morando Bevilacqua-Ariosti FROM BOLOGNA (from the ROMAGNA region, like the “clarifying” document shows, Northern Italy NOT TARANTO! )
It also mentions his heirs, a twin couple named Francesco (THE CURRENT DUKE OF TORNANO) and Ludovica now in their 40s. attached the translation
Addio al duca Morando Bevilacqua – Cronaca – ilrestodelcarlino.it (https://www.ilrestodelcarlino.it/bologna/cronaca/morando-bevilacqua-morto-duca-1.62119)
The problem is that both self-styled titles are notoriously the property of two families: The Bevilacqua-Ariosti from Bologna and the Gonzaga-Vescovato family of Mantua.
In order to have an official verdict on the matter, the Italian Heraldic Council has issued a complete report on the Order of the Redeemer and the title of Duke of Tornano, corroborating the aforementioned.
Here are some key parts of the Council’s conclusions:
The full official report can be accessed HERE
In a recent development, Mr. Fabio has accepted the conclusion from the report regarding the Bevilacqua-Ariosti Family of Bologna. Then, he now claims that he belongs to the Verona branch of the family (without showing any proof).
However, the genealogy of Verona’s branch of the Bevilacqua family is known and public:
There are a few problems with his desperate “last minute” change of claims:
- By admitting he is not from the Bevilacqua-Ariosti Family he’s admitting not legally having the title of “Duke of Tornano“ since the title given to Guglielmo Bevilacqua by the Grand Duke of Tuscany was “Duke of Bevilacqua“, NOT “Duke of Tornano“,
- He would need to show the full genealogy of him being the senior in the male line from the branch of Verona,
- As proven above, the genealogy of Verona’s branch is public and it doesn’t show Mr. Fabio Giuseppe Bevilacqua from Taranto,
- The known public legal male heirs of Verona’s branch are (not in order of precedence): *. Count Antonio, Conte della Bevilacqua (*Verona 27-V-1933) *. Count Ottavio, Conte della Bevilacqua (*Ravenna 15-I-1962) *. Count Ludovico Morando, Conte della Bevilacqua (*Verona 12-IV-1997) *. Count Emanuele, Conte della Bevilacqua (*Ravenna 14-III-1964) *. Count Giorgio Ludovico, Conte della Bevilacqua (*Este 26-II-1968) *. Count Francesco Morando, Conte della Bevilacqua (*Verona 25-V-1940)
5. The noble lawful heirs of the Bevilacquas of Verona were born (surprisingly) in Verona! And in other surrounding cities in the North of Italy like Ravenna and Este, NOT A SINGLE FAMILY MEMBER WAS BORN IN TARANTO in the South,
6. Not all dukes are created the same. There are royal sovereign dukes that can award titles and knighthoods, and there are noble dukes, that receive the honor from a sovereign ruler and CANNOT AWARD TITLES AND KNIGHTHOODS.
“Various royal houses traditionally awarded (mainly) dukedoms to the sons and in some cases, the daughters, of their respective sovereigns; others include at least one dukedom in a wider list of similarly granted titles, nominal dukedoms without any actual authority, often even without an estate. Such titles are still conferred on royal princes or princesses in the current European monarchies of Belgium, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duke
“In Italy some important sovereign ducal families were the Visconti and the Sforza, who ruled Milan; the Savoy in Piedmont; the Medici of Florence; the Farnese of Parma and Piacenza; the Cybo-Malaspina of Massa; the Gonzaga of Mantua; the Este of Modena and Ferrara” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duke
7. Duke Guglielmo Bevilacqua from Verona was a noble Duke, not a sovereign one! It’s notorious that he was created Duke by the Grand Duke of Tuscany in 1851. Therefore, he had no Fons Honorum to create nobles and knights!
8. The title of Duke Guglielmo Bevilacqua was NOT hereditary. Titles of nobility can be “ad personam” being awarded only to the person, expiring with the person’s death. Or “ad perpetuam” or hereditary. NONE of the lawful heirs of Duke Guglielmo ever used the title of Duke, using only the title of Count as proven demonstrating the public genealogy of the Bevilacquas of Verona http://www.genmarenostrum.com/pagine-lettere/letterab/bevilacqua/BEVILACQUA3.htm
Several books corroborate the aforementioned:
Here are the documents, encyclopedias and books that were the sources for the report: