Happy Italian Republic Day!

June 2 is a National Holiday in Italy, the "Festa della Repubblica" commemorating the 1946 referendum when, following World War 2, the Italian people voted to determine the country's form of government.  The issue was divisive, with 12,717,923 voting for a Republic compared to 10,719,284  voting for the monarchy.  With the Republic winning more votes, a new chapter in Italian history began, with members of Italy's royalty exiled from the country (specifically the House of Savoy's male descendants). 

Each year on June 2nd a big military parade takes place in the historic center of Rome, Italy's capital city.  Sergio Mattarella, the President of the Italian Republic, will preside over the ceremonies since he has the official role of  the Italian Armed Forces'' Supreme Commander. Also in attendance will be Paolo Gentiloni (Italy's Prime Minister) and other government officials.

Cities across Italy, including Siena, also commemorate the day with official ceremonies, speeches, parades, and concerts, as well as celebrations in Italian embassies around the world.   

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Here in Siena, beginning at 10 am in Piazza Duomo, there will be a solemn flag-raising ceremony symbolizing national unity and the reading of the message of the President of the Italian Republic. This ceremony will be followed by speeches by the Mayor of Siena, Bruno Valentini,  the President of the Province of Siena, Fabrizio Nepi,  two High School students and of the Prefect, Armando Gradone. The Banda Città del Palio will have a free concert in Piazza Salimeni starting at 11:30 a.m.  At noon, there will be a performance by young musicians at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana.  Celebrations will conclude at 4:30 pm back in Piazza Duomo with a flag-lowering ceremony.  Immagine incorporata 3

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