25 April, enjoying the Liberation Day in Tuscany
The 25 April in Italy is the Liberation Day. All over the country people celebrate the anniversary of the liberation from the Nazism occupation and from the Fascist regime. This is a crucial day for the history of our country and it had a great political and military relevance.
The 25 April represents the end of five years of war and of twenty years of tyranny with the victory of the Partisan against the Fascist regime of the Italian Social Republic and the Nazi occupation.
It has been declared national holiday on 1949 and we use to commemorate our compatriots that fought for the freedom of Italy visiting war memorials and places that are the symbol of the Resistance where many people “sacrificed” their life for the country.
A Brief history of 25 April
The 25 April 1945 the National Liberation Committee for Northern Italy (CLNAI) proclaimed, via radio announcements, the insurrection in all territory occupied by Nazi and Fascists. The CLNAI assumed the temporary leadership of the country in the name of the Italians declaring also the sentence of death for all fascist leaders, including Benito Mussolini that would have been shot three days later. Within the 1 May all the Northern Italy was released and the 3 May, with the Surrender of Caserta, the German invasion finally ended.
Events in Tuscany for the long weekend of the 25 April 2017
The 25 April, people also take advantage of the public holiday to organize small tours visiting the main cities, exploring the countryside or the coast enjoying sun and fresh air.
In Tuscany, there are plenty of special events and things to do. In this post, I collected some of them that might interesting you.
The Freedom National Park of Sant’Anna di Stazzema
There is a place in the mountains of Versilia in northern Tuscany where Italians commemorate the Fallen during the war: the village of Sant’Anna di Stazzema. Here, the 12 August 1944, the Nazi Schutzstaffel killed in only three hours 560 people (mostly of them were women, children, and old men). Today, a park and a war memorial keep the memory of this cruel massacre alive.
Gelato Festival in Florence – 8th Edition
In the splendid scenery of Piazzale Michelangelo in Florence, the Gelato Festival 2017 takes place from 21 to 25 April. The best ice cream makers of the country will bring brand-new flavors trying to win the award as Best Italian-style ice cream. If you want to taste these excellent unique flavors you definitely have to climb the hill and reach the Piazzale.
The International Handicrafts Trade Show in Florence (22 April – 1 May)
Since 1931 the Fortezza da Basso of Florence (Viale Filippo Strozzi) has been hosting the best of Italian craftsmen and over 50 different countries from all over the world, for this international trade fair that this year celebrates 81 years. There will be exhibitors from all over the world, workshops, cooking show, cooking class, shows and concert for adults and children.
This year the special guest country is the USA, that will show the old wild West background, the native American and Hispanics traditions, the modern Anglo culture, making experiencing to the visitors an imaginary itinerary along the famous Route 66. Inside the exhibition, a native American village with teepee and original handicraft, an ethnographic show regarding the Lakota Sioux culture, Country, Blues and Texas swing concerts, mechanical bull riding challenge, street food, cake design, events regarding American cakes, line dancing nights with stage and choreography, food stands with original products imported from the USA.
Palio of the Barrels and Spring Fair in Suvereto
Suvereto on the Etruscan Coast is considered as one of the most beautiful villages in Italy. The 29 and 30 April if you see people pushing a barrel along the street do not worry. Probably they will be the competitors of the Palio doing some exercise before the challenge. The center will host food courts and the market of flowers, plants and local products, including the saffron that is the guest of honor of the spring fair. In the afternoon of the 24, after an exhibition of the flag wavers, there will be the national Palio of Barrels between teams coming from different regions of Italy.
The Palio of Spring of Sansepolcro
Sunday 30 April Sansepolcro in Valtiberina, the valley in southeastern Tuscany, hosts the crossbows challenge Palio of the Spring. Along the streets, visitors go back to the Renaissance with the historic market, traditional dancers performances and the show of the flag wavers of Sansepolcro. Then at 5 pm, they could admire the unique crossbows spring challenge between teams of each suburb of the village. The entrance to the show is free of charge. This show is only the foretaste of the famous Crossbows games that take place in town in September.
Fiera della Maremma (22 – 25 April)
The Festival of Maremma takes place in Albinia (Orbetello) Strada Provinciale della Giannella. The program includes country shows, concerts, kid’s entertainment, the exhibition of Butteri (the Maremma’s cowboys), street food, a typical local products market, and a dog exhibition.
Madonnino Fair (22 – 25 April)
Madonnio Fair, Show Exhibition Center of Braccagni, (Grosseto). The show hosts the 32nd National Bovine Exhibition with Chianina cows, a special bovine race, selected for the production of refined meat, famous for its somatic gigantism and for its white fur.
Festa della Stagion Bona (Feast of Good Season), Panzano in Chianti
The 25 April, in Panzano in Chianti (district of Greve in Chianti) the Festa della Stagion Bona takes place. There are food’s stands selling wisteria pancakes, ficattole (aka Sgabei) filled with cold cuts or with Nutella, porchetta, ribollita soup, and other traditional Tuscan first and main dishes. At 4.00 pm the historical procession will start to reach Piazza del Castello, where will be the remembrance of the trial to Carlo de’ Gherardini with its historical hanging. Then, music and dances until after dinner, games, and shows for kids, and fireworks to close the event.
Pistoia, Piazza della Resistenza
On 25 April 11.00 am a ceremony remembers people dead in war. A music band concert in Piazza del Duomo will follow. Then, at 1.00 pm it is time for lunch, and at 4 pm for the bike race. In Porta al Borgo at 1.00 pm you can enjoy some street food followed, at 3.00 pm, by a free concert of local bands.
Ceremony and Concert for the Italian Resistance Day in Florence
25 April, 10.00 am Piazza Unità Italiana, deposition of a garland to the deaths in war, with the presence of local authorities and historical standards of Florence, Tuscany, Freedom Tuscan Committee, and Partisans. Following, suffrage prayers, and a procession to reach Piazza della Signoria, with an official ceremony on the Arengario of Palazzo Vecchio, where the Philarmonic “Gioacchino Rossi”, will preempt the arriving people playing the famous song of resistance “Bella Ciao”. The Philarmonic will play also the Italian anthem “Fratelli d’Italia”.
9.00 pm Concert of Tuscany Orchestra at Teatro Verdi with Peppe Servillo who will play the Sinfonia da Experimentum by Giorgio Battistelli.
Walk from Lari to Sant’Ermo
25 April, 09.00 am Piazzale della Fonte Eccidio ’44, in Aiale, district of Lari.
Spino Fiorito in Massa (the festival will take place in 2018)
Every two years, the medieval castle of Malaspina Family in Massa comes back to life thanks to the Spino Fiorito Festival. During these days visitors will have the opportunity to visit the ancient manor and taste delicious food, wine, and beer made by local producers.
(update on April 24th 2017)