Rome, the Eternal City, is a place of astonishing landmarks, but also a city with remarkable history. Besides the glorious moments of the Roman Empire, in modern Italy, there is an event that marks the love to the nation of every Italian: the Republic Day, on June 2nd. In this day, 67 years ago, Italians had chosen Republic over Monarchy by universal suffrage. Since then, the day is marked for celebration in the Eternal city. Let us see what is going on this day!
Rome along with Italy has a complicated history. Since the fall of the Roman Empire, there were several divisions, disputed by foreigners, Italians, and the Vatican. The truth is, Italy was completely split till the 19th Century. Then, the liberal movements and the national feeling were the engine for the creation of the Kingdom of Italy, which saw its completeness by 1870, with the capture of Rome. During the next 76 years, Italy would experience a monarchy ruled by the House of Savoy. After the World War II, the way of ruling Italy became very unpopular, after the support made from the Savoy’s to Mussolini. In June 2nd, 1946, by universal suffrage, Italians decided the time of kings was over. It was time to make place to a new Italy, which is known from that day forth as Italian Republic.
Since 1948, on every 2nd of June, in all corners of Italy, but especially in the Eternal City, the celebration is on its highest peak. Across borders, you can find memorials and other celebrations at the embassies of Italy all over the world. All together, this day has the name of Festa Della Repubblica (Party of the Republic). And the Italians take this very seriously, as most of the population considers this the birth of the nation. But let us see what is going on in Rome concerning celebrations.
In the very beginning of the day, on every year, there is the laying of the wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. After this formal and memorial step comes the biggest point of the day: the parade. The parade consists on a military march from Via dei Fori Imperiali (formerly Via dell’Impero – Street of the Empire) till Piazza Venezia. The parade started in first year of celebrations (1948) and since then, it goes on every year with the same majestic and grandiosity – except for a temporary interruption in recent years. At the same moment, jets from the Italian Air Force make a fly over Rome, expelling tricolor smoke representing the colors of the Italian flag. Keep an eye on that!
The party does not end in the morning. There is more to discover as the afternoon starts. The fabulous gardens of the Palazzo del Quirinale (the Seat of the President) get crowded with people, from young to old people, with several music performances by the bands of different sectors of the Italian Military and police and forestry forces. Even though this afternoon time is more popular among locals, you can always take a look, take a cold drink, relax and enjoy for a little while.
If you are a resistant and brave soldier and want more action, just go around the city center and you will find a tricolor environment in official buildings, famous sites, and even on the people. For dinner, you have several choices next to Palazzo del Quirinale: you can go simply to Rinaldi al Quirinale Restaurant, an excellent Italian seafood restaurant; or if you prefer a more European cuisine, you have always the Piccolo Arancio. For dessert, try out the Il Gelato di San Crispino at Trevi Fountain.
The Republic Day is always an opportunity for any sightseer to know in more detail the traditions and history of Italy, while enjoying the usual astonishing architecture of landmarks and the outstanding Italian food. Just remember to grab your camera, as you will need it a lot during this special day. If you are concerned about accommodation, take a look into the Rome Apartments website and make your reservation right away, as for this day the places normally are full. Come to Rome, show your inner Italian and enjoy the Republic Day!