The Free Republic of Alcatraz is not only a quixotic eco-resort, it's a "utopia in progress" with its own artfully crafted banknotes, passports, flags and stamps.

Italian writer, actor and director Jacopo Fo (son of Nobel laureate Dario Fo) founded Alcatraz in the woodlands between Gubbio and Perugia in 2009 as a protest against what he saw as the degradation of Italian society at the hands of then-leader Silvio Berlusconi.

It's since blossomed into a haven for free thinkers with its own museum, restaurant and education center with workshops on everything from yoga to permaculture.

Location: Within Italy on 4 million square feet of land between Gubbio and Perugia.

Fee: Rates start at €35 ($47) for an overnight stay.

What to see and do: Get a water massage in the pool, enroll in a cooking class, visit Queen Eleonora Albanese's Fantastic Wood Museum and take in one of the regular concerts.


Freetown Christiania

This self-proclaimed autonomous neighborhood of Copenhagen arose out of squatted military barracks in 1971 and became infamous the world over for its cannabis trade until Danish authorities stopped turning a blind eye in 2004.

Today, it boasts 1,000 peace-loving residents who pay rent to the community and have turned the reclaimed barracks into self-designed schools, houses and small businesses.

The social experiment finally became legal after 40 turbulent years when citizens purchased the land from the Danish government in April 2011 for a sobering DKK 76 million ($13.9 million).

Location: Within the neighborhood of Christianshavn in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Fee: Free

What to see and do: Down some vegetarian cuisine with a strong drink on Pusher Street, purchase a handcrafted bicycle and get lost in the commune's quirky backstreets.


The Principality of Hutt River

Prince Leonard founded the Principality of Hutt River in 1970 as part of an agricultural protest writ large.

This "sovereign state" -- which claims not to pay taxes to the Australian government, even though it does donate a "gift" of equivalent value -- occupies a swath of arid land roughly the size of Hong Kong and subsists largely on wildflower exports, tourism and the sales of its coins, stamps and trinkets.

Even though the UN doesn't recognize Hutt River's presence, there's one powerful entity that does: Google.

The Principality of Hutt River is one of the few micronations that actually shows up on Google Maps.

Location: Within the Australian state of West Australia about two hours north of Geraldton.

Fee: Passports must be stamped on arrival for a fee of A$2 ($1.85), but there's no departure tax.

What to see and do: Check out the royal art collection, play putt putt golf and spend the night in the rustic campground.


Akhziv Land