Republic Day in Italy
Republic Day, known as Festa della Repubblica in Italian, is a public holiday observed in Italy every June 2nd. This day celebrates the 1946 referendum that led to the creation of the Italian Republic. On this day, a wreath is laid at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Altare della Patria in the city of Rome, and there are also military parades.
During this holiday, people can expect to see airshows, festivals, parties, and a variety of fun events. Since many government offices, schools, and businesses are closed on this day, it’s also a day off for the general population.
The History of Republic Day in Italy
After World War II, a referendum was announced that called for an institutional referendum in which Italians could vote at the polls whether Italy should be a monarchy or a republic. On June 2, 1946, over 12 million Italians voted in favor of a new Italian Republic. They also voted to elect the assembly that would draft the new republic’s Constitution. The new Italian Republic’s Constitution came into effect on January 1, 1948.
The first ceremony to commemorate the vote on the new government was held on June 2, 1948. That celebration included a military review by Italy’s new President at Piazza Venezia. The following year, the day was declared a national holiday.
In the 1970s, this day was moved to the first Sunday in June to prevent the holiday from having a negative effect on working hours. It remained on this spot on the calendar until the end of the 1990s when it was officially moved back to June 2nd.
Observing Republic Day in Italy
Aside from laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and an airshow, there are a variety of other events observed on this day. For example, there’s a huge military parade that travels along Via dei Fori Imperiali, and there’s the symbolic raising of the Italian flag.
There is also the symbolic changing of the guard at Quirinale Palace. All across Italy, there are parties, festivals, concerts, and other events that celebrate this holiday.