Italy’s most important holiday is June 2nd, Italy’s Independence Day. With the storied history of the Italian peninsula, the question becomes, why is this day above others?
The Festa della Repubblica Italiana (Festival of the Italian Republic), Italy’s Independence Day, is held to a standard above all other holidays because it clearly delineates the past from today’s modern government.
From 1861 up until June 2, 1946, the Italian peninsula was unified under the government led by the monarchy of the House of Savoy. After World War II, the populous of Italy was asked to choose with an institutional referendum to either retain the existing monarchy or change to a representative republic with a parliamentary-style government. When the votes were counted, the monarchy was voted out and the Italian government structure as we know it took effect.
The day is celebrated with the opening of the Palazzo del Quirinale gardens to the public, laying of the wreath of the unknown soldier at the Altare della Patria, parades (The Corazzieri [Italian president’s guards] military, carabinieri and Guardie della Finanzia) and is capped off with a flyover by the 9-plane Italian Air Force Frecce Tricolore (a/k/a Pattuglia Acrobatica Nazionale or National Acrobatic Patrol) with the trailing colors of Italy’s flag (green, white, and red) over that monument.