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Italia - Festa della Repubblica

Updated: Jun 2, 2023



June 2nd in Italy is the "Festa della Repubblica" (Italy's National Day) and today in Stresa it was impossible to find parking because people leave their homes in the city to come to Lago Maggiore. We had to go to Arona early in the morning and it was a calm ride out, but boy when we came home at 11 am was it mayhem. Cars and people everywhere. It took Gianni over an hour to find pay parking.


Why is this this holiday important? Well, on June 2 and 3rd in 1946, the Italian population took to the polls to vote on a referendum. They were to vote on which state to give the country; a Monarch State or a Republic State. This referendum was announced at the end of World War II when the Fascist Regime fell, denouncing dictatorship which was supported by the Savoy Royal family.


This was the first vote in Italian history that was held by universal suffrage, which means, any adult citizen has the right to vote. This is regardless of wealth, income, gender, social status, race, ethnicity, political stance, or any other restriction, subject only to relatively minor exceptions. The results was 12,717,923 votes for the republic and 10,719,284 for the monarchy (with a percentage, respectively, of 54.3% and 45.7%).


With a republican win, the King of Italy, Umberto II of Savoy decided to leave Italy on June 13th to avoid clashes between monarchists and republicans. He then went into exile in Portugal and in 1948, all male descendants of Umberto were banned to enter Italy. This provision was repelled in 2002. On the 11th of June in 1946, the first day of republic Italy was declared a public holiday. The first celebration of the Festa della Repubblica took place on June 2, 1947.


This day is honoured in Rome with a flag-raising ceremony and laying of laurel wreath by the President of the Italian Republic at the Altare della Patria a memorial honouring the unknown soldiers of World War I. Across the country there will be parades, festivals, and special events as it is a public holiday where schools, government buildings and many businesses are closed.


Today we walked around Stresa and here is a video of how we spent our afternoon



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