Republic Day in Italy: tricolor in the sky
Holiday. Festa della Repubblica (Festival of the Republic) - May 2nd.
The meaning and history. This national holiday celebrates the day when Italians voted to abolish the monarchy. The referendum was held by universal suffrage on 2nd June 1946, with 12,717,923 votes for a republic and 10,719,284 for the monarchy. So, after 85 years of monarchy, Italy became a Republic, and the monarchs of the House of Savoy were deposed and exiled. This date was celebrated every year, but became an official holiday only in 2000.
How it is celebrated. Republic day is a day off for lots of Italians. Many official ceremonies and concerts take place around the country. A grand military parade is held in the center of Rome, presided over by the President of the Italian Republic in his role as Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces. One of the exciting moments is the laying of a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, inside the Altare della Patria in Rome.
Family traditions. Laura Papavero came to Austria from Castiglione Olona, a little town in the province of Varese. It is 50 km away from Milan and 15 km from Switzerland. “After graduating in December 2012 in Linguistic Sciences, I looked for an experience abroad. I found out about the European Voluntary Service, and in September 2013 I started my Austrian adventure. I worked for a year in the youth centre of Villach. Meanwhile, I decided to move here: I feel at home in Carinthia and my boyfriend is Austrian”.
Laura tells that the Republic Day is a very important holiday for every Italian because it means freedom and independence. “Every Republic Day airplanes spread the colours of our national flag in the sky over the city, they are called “Frecce Tricolori”. It’s really amazing and unforgettable!”
Text: Vita Vitrenko, Photos: Laura Papavero, http://roma.repubblica.it/