A Historical overview of the Italian Republic Day

On 2 and 3June 1946, all Italians were asked to choose between Monarchy and Republic by voting in a popular referendum where for the first time in history, Italian women were allowed to vote. . .

Since I was a child, the 2nd of June has always been one of my favourite days on the calendar, because we had a day off from school due to the fact that it was national holiday to celebrate the birthday of the Italian Republic!

Growing up, as time went on, I was so pleased and proud to discover that the birth of the Italian Republic is not only celebrated in Italy, but also around the world in the Italian embassies and consulates.

In order to understand why the birthday of the Italian Republic is celebrated just on this day, we need to travel back in time to the end of the Second World War, and the fall of the Fascist regime.

On 2 and 3June 1946, all Italians were asked to choose between Monarchy and Republic by voting in a popular referendum. This referendum was an extraordinary event at that time, because for the first time in the Italian history, women were finally able to vote. Before that date, Italian women never voted, and that's why the referendum was called a "“referendum a suffragio universale": finally, all the entitled citizens of Italy were allowed to vote.

With a margin of about two million votes, the majority of Italian voters chose the Republic, a word that derives from the Latin expression Res Publica, meaning "“public thing" or "“public affair". Here is why on the 2nd June Italians celebrate their National Festival, because it's right on this day that the Italian Republic was born.

According to the wisdom of Cicero, one of the greatest statesman and orator of the Ancient Rome, the Republic was to be preferred to the Monarchy because it allowed every citizen to democratically choose all their representatives. He also argued that without Equality there is no Democracy, and without Democracy there is no Republic.

It is no coincidence that the most important words that we find in the first three articles of the Italian Constitution are Republic, Democracy and Equality.

The victory of the Republic represented the end of the Monarchy in Italy, and the exile of the Savoy family, royals of Italy.

On the occasion of the popular referendum, the Italians also elected the members of the Constituent Assembly with the task of electing the provisional Head of State and writing the new Italian Constitution.

On December22, 1947, the work for the drafting of the Constitutional charter officially ended. Then, it came into force on January 1, 1948, and the feast of the Italian Republic was established.

The official ceremony marking the Italian Republic Day takes place in Rome, and can be followed by everyone thanks to a live TV coverage. The ceremony has its traditions -  the placement of the laurel wreath as atribute to the Unknown Soldier at the Altare della Patria by the current President of the Italian Republic. Then there is the military parade along the iconic street marched by Romans of old, the Via dei Fori Imperiali, and then, the "“Frecce Tricolori" fly over Rome - emblazoning the sky with the colours of the Italian flag.

Italian Republic Day is a very special occasion for everyone to feel connected to Italian culture and history. This celebration deserves to be remembered as it is the result of the resistance after 20 years of dictatorship, and is founded on the Constitution.

According to a Latin phrase that I really love: "“Historia magistra vitae", that means "“History is a teacher of life", hence the importance of keeping the collective memory alive!


The Italian Flag with the symbol of the Italian Republic.

Happy June 2ndeveryone!