What is Liberation Day (Italy)?

Introduction

Liberation Day (Italian: Festa della liberazione), also known as the Anniversary of Italy’s Liberation (Anniversario della Liberazione d’Italia), Anniversary of the Resistance (Anniversario della Resistenza), or simply 25 April (25 aprile) is a national holiday in Italy that commemorates the victory of the Italian resistance movement against Nazi Germany and the Italian Social Republic, puppet state of the Nazis and rump state of the fascists, during World War II.

That is distinct from Republic Day (Festa della Repubblica), which takes place on 02 June.

Brief History

The date was chosen by convention, as it was the day of the year 1945 when the National Liberation Committee of Upper Italy (CLNAI) officially proclaimed the insurgency in a radio announcement, propounding the seizure of power by the CLNAI and proclaiming the death sentence for all fascist leaders (including Benito Mussolini, who was shot three days later).

By 01 May, all of northern Italy was liberated, including Bologna (21 April), Genoa (23 April), Milan (25 April), Turin and Venice (28 April). The liberation put an end to twenty-three years of fascist dictatorship and five years of war. It symbolically represents the beginning of the historical journey which led to the referendum of 02 June 1946, when Italians opted for the end of the monarchy and the creation of the Italian Republic, which was followed by the adoption of the Constitution of the Republic in 1948.

Institutionalisation of the Date

The current date was chosen in 1946, and in most Italian cities, marches and parades are organised to commemorate the event. On 22 April 1946, the Disposizioni in materia di ricorrenze festive (“Provisions on festive occasions”) decree created the national holiday. The bill states that Per celebrare la totale liberazione del territorio italiano, il 25 aprile 1946 è dichiarato festa nazionale (“In celebration of the total liberation of the Italian territory, 25 April 1946 is declared a national holiday”).

On 27 May 1949, Law 260 made the anniversary a permanent, annual national holiday.

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