For Italy, June 2nd is not only the beginning of a new month, but also represents unity and Italian fellowship. It marks in fact, the moment in which Italy entered into the modern era and assumed the institutional form of a Republic. But why has June 2nd been chosen as the day to celebrate this occasion and what historical origins lead to this patriotic event?

On the very day of June 2nd 1946, Italian citizens were called to the polls. The choice was between maintaining the institutional form of the Monarchy or to vote for a Republic.

The outcome of which is well established, but it is important to remember that the institutional referendum held on June 2nd and 3th, 1946 was the first universal suffrage referendum, allowing participation from almost 90 % of the population with the right to vote bestowed upon them. An important historical achievement that demonstrates how much Italian citizens, who still held the heavy memories of the fascist period and also of the pain caused by the Second World War – which had since ended in September 2nd 1945 – in their minds, they felt the need to take part in a transformation.

The referendum outcomes were announced on May 10th, 1946 by the Court of Cassation and after just 3 days, the former king Umberto II willingly left the country. The full transformation was then considered complete on May 1948 when Luigi Enaudi was elected as the first President of the Republic.

Nowadays, the Republic Day is a festivity for all ages, in fact, everyone can take part in the celebrations happening all over the Italian territory, particularly in Rome. It is in Rome where the official ceremony is held, which includes the solemn flag-hoisting to “The Altare della Patria” (Altar of the Fatherland) and the tribute to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier—statue commemorating a war victim, founded during the Second World War, disfigured, faceless and thus unrecognizable, a symbol of all the unfound soldiers and also of all of the soldiers that took part in the war—by the President of the Republic that lays a laurel wreath on it in the presence of all the highest office of the State. The ceremony terminates with the national anthem (originally called the Song of the Italian people) and with the “Frecce Tricolori” (literally “Tricolor Arrows”), the Italian acrobatic air force, crossing the sky of Rome.

The Arrows, ten aircrafts, nine of which in formation and one solo, is the largest acrobatic patrol in the world, the aircrafts fly together and they are called “Tricolor” due to the wake that they leave behind representing the three colors of the Italian Flag.

The celebration is a moment that brings happiness and an occasion to remember the big steps forward in the history that the Italian citizens have made so far.

DP Group wishes a Happy Republic Day to all Italian citizens in Italy and around the world!