Italy’s Liberation day
The 25th of April is a national holiday in Italy since 1946. In Italian Giorno della Liberazione or Festa della Resistenza celebrates the end of the Nazi occupation during World War II and the end of the Italian Civil war. This day is a very important part of Italian history and the beginning of a new chapter for the whole country.
In 1943 Italy entered into an armistice with the Allies, and this was the beginning of the Resistance troops fight for Italy’s freedom. Italy was under the dictatorship of Benito Mussolini, an Italian politician who led the National Fascist Party. The Resistance troops, including around 35,00 women, where committed and determined to free their country from Mussolini’s dictatorship.
On the 25th of April 1945, after 2 years of fighting, Italy was liberated from Nazi occupation and Mussolini’s dictatorship. Some parts of Italy were liberated earlier, but the two largest cities in the north, Milan and Turin, where liberated on the 25th, and this marked the final victory for the Resistance. All the leaders of the National Fascist Party were sentenced to death, and Mussolini was shot as he was trying to escape to the Swiss border. The liberation day is celebrated in honor of those who served in the Italian Resistance and those who lost their lives fighting for the freedom of Italy.
So how do Italians celebrate Liberation Day?
Many Italian cities celebrate the day with marching bands, demonstrations, parades, food festivals, political rallies and other types of public gatherings. Most shops, public transport, post offices, restaurants etc. are closed since the whole country is participating in the celebrations. Some museums and cultural sites might be open, but remember to check before going out.
During the festivities the song “Bella Ciao” is often played, it was the anthem of the Italian resistance movement. The lyrics of the song are a symbol of the sacrifice made by the Resistance fighters. Italians are committed to honoring and remembering those who fought for the liberation of Italy, since it is said that if you forgot the mistakes done in the past, you will repeat them.
Liberation Day is surely one of the biggest festivities of Italy, and you are very lucky if you get to celebrate this special day with Italians.