A revolt of textile workers in 14th century Florence led to the son of a washerwoman becoming president when he entered the palace barefoot and overthrew the oligarchic government. For 4 years the republic was ruled almost entirely by middle class artisans and shopkeepers.
In 1968 a man built an island off the coast of Italy and declared himself the President. He ran a restaurant, a bar, a nightclub, and a post office on the island. The Italian government didn’t like this, seized control of the island, and literally blew it up the next year.