Italian Word of the Day: Festa della Repubblica (Republic Day)

Every year on June 2nd, Italians celebrate la Festa della Repubblica – known as Republic Day in English – which is the name of the Italian national day. It celebrates the institutional referendum held just a year after the end of the Second World War, in which the Italian people voted to abolish the monarchy and form a republic.

la festa della repubblica
IPA: /ˈfɛs.ta dél·la reˈpu.bːli.ka/

Although celebrations are held all over Italy, the main event always takes place in Rome. It includes a flag-raising ceremony, the deposition of a laurel wreath by the President of the Republic (Presidente della Repubblica) at the Altar of the Fatherland (Altare della Patria) in honour of the Unknown Soldier (Milite Ignoto) and a grand military parade along Via dei Fori Imperiali.

During the ceremony, the Italian National anthem is sung and the Frecce Tricolori, the aerobatic demonstration team of the Italian Air Force, cross the skies of Rome, emitting a design with red, green and white smoke that resembles the Italian flag.

Because it is a public holiday, many businesses and institutions remain closed including banks, shops, schools, offices and museums. Festivals, concerts and parades are held across the nation, as well as impressive firework displays in the evening.

Fuochi d’artificio per la Festa della Repubblica a Torino = Fireworks on Republic Day in Turin

Lyrics to the Italian National Anthem (with English translation)

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.

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!

Brothers of Italy,
Italy has awoken,
with Scipio’s helmet
Upon her head.
Where is Victory?
Let her bow down,
For God has made her
A slave of Rome.

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!

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