Festa della Repubblica - Italy Celebrates 72nd Anniversary of the Republic

La Festa della Repubblica Italiana è una giornata di festa nazionale ed uno dei simboli patri, istituita per ricordare la nascita della Repubblica. Si festeggia ogni anno il 2 giugno, data del referendum istituzionale del 1946, con la celebrazione principale che avviene a Roma che comprende la deposizione di una corona di alloro in omaggio al Milite Ignoto all’Altare della Patria da parte del Presidente della Repubblica Italiana e una parata militare lungo via dei Fori Imperiali.

Every year on June 2nd, our nation celebrates Italian Republic Day. It is a time when all Italians, at home and abroad, gather around the flag, the values and ideals that unite us; it is an opportunity to gather to remember with civic sense and responsibility all that is part of our past: mistakes, successes, conquests, and defeats. June 2nd is an opportunity to reflect. It is time taken away from the normality of everyday life to underline the importance and the value of the democratic institutions. This year marks the 72nd Anniversary of the Republic of Italy. After WWII, it was necessary to create a State that could guarantee the rights of all citizens. On June 2-3, 1946, an institutional referendum was held by universal suffrage which, for the first time, brought women to the polls alongside men to decide what form of government our country should have.

There were two alternatives: maintaining the Monarchy or choosing a Republic. With 12,718,641 votes (54.3%) against 10.718.502 (45.7%), the latter won. King Umberto II of Savoy, who had only been in office since May 9th, was exiled, thus putting an end to the dominion of the House of Savoy on the Kingdom of Italy, which had begun on March 17, 1861 with the Unification of Italy. Deputies were elected to the Constituent Assembly, which approved the Constitution the following year. The Constitution became the foundation and symbol of the country’s democracy as well as a guide and inspiration to the moral and institutional reconstruction of Italy. The first celebration of the Italian Republic took place on June 2, 1948 in Via dei Fori Imperiali in Rome. At the time, the ceremony included the review of the armed forces in honor of the Republic by the President of the Republic. The event took place in Piazza Venezia, opposite the Vittoriano. After the deposition of the laurel wreath to the Unknown Soldier by the then President of the Republic Luigi Einaudi, the banners of the armed forces abandoned the formation, crossed the steps of the monument and paid homage to the president with a bow.

In 1949, with the entry of Italy into NATO, 10 celebrations took place simultaneously throughout the country. In 1961, the main celebration of the Republic Day did not take place in Rome but in Turin, the first capital of a united Italy. That year, in fact, the centenary of the Unification of Italy was also celebrated.

Due to the severe economic crisis that gripped the country in the 70s’, an effort to contain expenses meant moving Republic Day celebrations to the first Sunday in June, with the consequent cancellation of the weekday holiday. In 2001, at the insistence of then President of the Republic Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, the celebration was restored to June 2, officially returning it to a full public holiday.

The Consul in Italy in Detroit, Dr.ssa Maria Manca, together with the Hon. Consul of Italy in Cleveland & Ohio, Dr.ssa Serena Scaiola extend their warmest wishes for a happy National Day to all our fellow nationals and Italian Americans in Ohio.