Every 2 June our marvelous country celebrates the Italian Republic Day or Festa della Repubblica. Italy became a Republic after the institutional Referendum held by universal suffrage the 2 and 3 June of 1946. Italians were called to vote to choose the new form of Government between monarchy and republic, following the Second World War and the fall of fascism. After 85 years of Kingdom, Italy became a Republic and the male of House of Savoy was sent into exile out of the country.

Vittorio-Emanuele-III-di-Savoia
Vittorio Emanuele III of Savoy
italian republic born
A woman celebrate the birth of the Italian Republic
referendum vote 2 june
Voting paper for the constitutional referendum

Celebrations of the 2 June in Italy for Republic Day are like those of 14 July in France to commemorate the beginning of the French Revolution with the storming of the Bastille. Or like in the USA on the July Fourth to commemorate the adoption of the Declaration of Independence from Great Britain.

The symbols of the Italian Republic

The Tricolor Italian Flag

The flag of Italy, also named Tricolore, is a tricolor featuring three equally sized vertical stripes of green, white, and red, with the green at the hoist side.

The Tricolor was born in Reggio Emilia the 7 January 1797. The new Cispadan Republic, founded in northern Italy with the protection of French Army, led by Napoleon Bonaparte adopted a flag characterized by three stripes of equal size, clearly inspired to the French model of 1790. Also, the “Italian” military departments, created to assist the army of Bonaparte, had banners which mirror the same shape of this flag.

The white and the red were the color of the city of Milan and the green was the color of the uniform of the Milanese civic Guard.  A common interpretation of the meaning of colors says that green represents the country’s plains and the hills, white is the snow of the Alps, and red is blood spilled in the Wars of Italian Independence.

The Italian tricolor during the Risorgimento underwent changes. It was adopted in its current form only on 1 January 1948, with the proclamation of the Republican Constitution. Article 12 of the Italian Constitution, approved by the Constituent Assembly on December 1947, states:

The flag of the Republic is the Italian tricolor: green, white, and red, in three vertical bands of equal dimensions.

Italian Flag

The National Anthem

The Canto degli Italiani”, (also known as Fratelli d’Italia”, or “Inno di Mameli”), was composed by Michele Novaro, with Goffredo Mameli lyrics, on 1847. It represents the song of the unification and one of the symbols of the Italian nation.

How the Anthem was born?

On November 1847 Mr. Lorenzo Valerio, poet and patriot, was hosting in his house a political meeting and Michele Novaro, composer and singer, was one of the guests. One of those days, in the middle of the night, a new guest, the painter Ulisse Borzino arrived with a piece of paper to show everybody. It was the manuscript of Goffredo Mameli. The emotion of the composer Michele Novaro was so deep, that he immediately started to compose the music playing the harpsichord.

National Anthem of Italy
Anthem of Italy

Fratelli d’Italia,
l’Italia s’è desta,
dell’elmo di Scipio
s’è cinta la testa.
Dov’è la Vittoria?
Le porga la chioma,
ché schiava di Roma
Iddio la creò.

CORO
Stringiamci a coorte,
siam pronti alla morte.
Siam pronti alla morte,
l’Italia chiamò.
Stringiamci a coorte,
siam pronti alla morte.
Siam pronti alla morte,
l’Italia chiamò! Sì!

Noi fummo da secoli
calpesti, derisi,
perché non siam popolo,
perché siam divisi.
Raccolgaci un’unica
bandiera, una speme:
di fonderci insieme
già l’ora suonò.

(CORO)

Uniamoci, amiamoci,
l’unione e l’amore
rivelano ai popoli
le vie del Signore.
Giuriamo far libero
il suolo natio:
uniti, per Dio,
chi vincer ci può?

(CORO)

Dall’Alpi a Sicilia
dovunque è Legnano,
ogn’uom di Ferruccio
ha il core, ha la mano,
i bimbi d’Italia
si chiaman Balilla,
il suon d’ogni squilla
i Vespri suonò.

(CORO)

Son giunchi che piegano
le spade vendute:
già l’Aquila d’Austria
le penne ha perdute.
Il sangue d’Italia,
il sangue Polacco,
bevé, col cosacco,
ma il cor le bruciò.

(CORO)

Brothers of Italy,
Italy has woken,
Bound Scipio’s helmet
Upon her head.
Where is Victory?
Let her bow down,
For God created her
Slave of Rome.

CHORUS
Let us join in a cohort,
We are ready to die.
We are ready to die,
Italy has called.
Let us join in a cohort,
We are ready to die.
We are ready to die,
Italy has called! Yes!

We were for centuries
downtrodden, derided,
because we are not one people,
because we are divided.
Let one flag, one hope
gather us all.
The hour has struck
for us to unite.

(CHORUS)

Let us unite, let us love one another,
For union and love
Reveal to the people
The ways of the Lord.
Let us swear to set free
The land of our birth:
United, for God,
Who can overcome us?

(CHORUS)

From the Alps to Sicily,
Legnano is everywhere;
Every man has the heart
and hand of Ferruccio
The children of Italy
Are all called Balilla;
Every trumpet blast
sounds the Vespers.

(CHORUS)

Mercenary swords,
they’re feeble reeds.
The Austrian eagle
Has already lost its plumes.
The blood of Italy
and the Polish blood
It drank, along with the Cossack,
But it burned its heart.

(CHORUS)

The Emblem of Italy

The emblem of the Italian Republic is characterized by three elements: a five-pointed star, a cogwheel, the branches of olive and oak.

The olive branch symbolizes the desire of peace of the nation, both as internal harmony and international brotherhood.

The oak branch symbolizes the strength and dignity of the Italian people.

Both of them are also the most common species of trees in our country.

The steel cogwheel, a symbol of work, represents the first article of our Constitution: Italy is a democratic republic founded on work.

The five-pointed star is one of the oldest symbols of our iconographic heritage since the Risorgimento. It is usually seen shining radiantly over the head of the personification of Italy, Italia Turrita. It appeared, until 1890, in the large coat of arms of the United Reign. The star characterized, also, the first honor of the Republican reconstruction, the Star of Italian Solidarity and today indicates membership of the armed forces of our country.

The Emblem of Italy
italia turrita

The Standard of the President of the Italian Republic

The Standard of the President of the Italian Republic in our legal and military ceremonials represents the mark of the presence of the Head of State. It follows, therefore, the President of the Republic in all his movements. Every car, ship, and airplane carrying on board the President outside the prefectures raises the Standard.

The Standard is a precise historical reference to the Risorgimento and a symbol of national unity. Its square shape and the blue edging symbolize the Armed Forces, whose the President of the Republic is the Head.

The standard of the President of the italian republic - Republic Day

The Vittoriano

The monument takes its name from Vittorio Emanuele II, the first king of Italy.

At his death, in 1878, it was decided to erect a monument to celebrate the Father of the Nation and with him, the entire season of the Risorgimento. The Vittoriano had to be a space open to the city. The monument was inaugurated by Vittorio Emanuele III the 4 June 1911.

It was the highlight of the International Exhibition celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of united Italy. In the monumental complex, underneath the statue of the Goddess Roma, the body of the Unknown Soldier has buried the 4 November 1921, in memory of the many soldiers who died in the war with no name or with no tomb.

Vittoriano old picture Republic Day
Guardia al milite Ignoto - Unknown soldier gua - republic dayrd

The military parade in Rome for the Italian Republic Day

The Italian Republic day is celebrated with a grand military parade, called Rivista, in the center, Rome along the Via dei Fori Imperiali presided over by the President of the Italian Republic in his role as Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, the Prime Minister and other high officers of state.

parade june 2nd italian republic day

The ceremonial of Italy’s Republic Day usually starts with the lay of a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Vittoriano monument also known as Altare della Patria.

milito ignoto Roma 2 june republic day

Later, the parade of Italian Republic Day begins when the Corazzieri Squadron of the Arma dei Carabinieri, both mounted and dismounted, arrives at the Presidential grandstand at Via dei Fori Imperiali.

The honors are paid via the Italian Army Band playing the first stanza of the national anthem of Italy.

The squadron departs while the Carabinieri Central Band is striking up to La Fedelissima, its official march, leading the parade followed by the National Colors of the all Italian Armed Forces, the Italian Red Cross Unit, the State Firefighters Corps, a delegation of UN, Nato and UE and ending with the unique Bersaglieri contingent in their jogging pace.

frecce tricolori republic day

At the end of Ceremonials of the Italian Republic Day, the sky over Rome will be attractively colored in green, white and red by the Frecce Tricolori (Tricolor Arrows) and their famous flyover. The official name is 313° Gruppo Addestramento Acrobatico. They are the most numerous aerobatic demonstration team in the world with nine aircraft plus one soloist.

In the afternoon the Quirinale Palace in Rome, the seat of the President of the Republic, and its gardens are exceptionally open and host musical performances by the band ensembles of the Italian Armed Forces.

Tourists in Rome for the Italian Republic Day can also participate at the changing of the Honor Guard at Quirinale Palace. The special event, in its solemn form, is made by the Corazzieri Regiment and by the mounted band of the Carabinieri 4th Cavalry Regiment, with guards wearing their ceremonial uniforms and ride horses.

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