Vita Gazette

News from Italy

25 April: Liberation Day

Vita gazette – Italy celebrates Liberation Day on April 25th, known in Italian as Il Giorno della Liberazione (Liberation Day) or La Festa della Resistenza (Celebration of the Resistance). The date has been a public holiday in Italy since 1946. and it marks the end of the Italian Civil War and the end of the Nazi occupation.

And we celebrate the end of the Fascist regime and the occupation of Nazi Germany during the Second World War, as well as the victory of the Italian Resistance movement of partisans who opposed the government.

Formed in 1943, the participant comprised a network of anti-Fascist activists across Italy from diverse backgrounds, including workers, farmers, students and intellectuals. Together they united in armed resistance against the Nazi occupation and the Fascist regime, making their struggle both a war of liberation and a civil war.

The date of 25 April marked the day in 1945 when a nationwide radio broadcast calling for a popular uprising and general strike against the Nazi occupation and Fascist regime was announced by the National Liberation Committee of Upper Italy (CLNAI), a political umbrella organisation representing the Italian resistance movement. This announcement – made by partisan and future president of Italy Sand ro Pertini – resulted in the capture and death of Fascist leader Benito Mussolini, who was shot three days later.

The first uprising and liberation took place in Bologna on 21 April 1945, followed two days later by Genoa, Milan on 25 April, and Turin and Venice on 28 April. All northern Italy was liberated by 1 May, with the advance of the Allied forces, leading the occupying German forces to surrender officially on 2 May.

The birth of the Italian Republic

The date of April 25 symbolically represents the culmination of the military phase of the Resistance and the effective start of a degree of government by its representatives, which will lead first to the referendum of June 2, 1946, for the choice between monarchy and republic, and then to the birth of the Italian Republic, until the final drafting of the Constitution.

In celebration of the total liberation of the Italian territory, April 25, 1946, is declared a national holiday.

Bella Ciao!

Today, politicians give speeches to emphasise the importance of remembering the resistance movement and pay tribute at Rome’s Altare della Patria, the national monument to Victor Emmanuel II, the first king of a unified Italy.

There are numerous official ceremonies across the country, including visits to the tombs of partisan soldiers. In addition, President Sergio Mattarella visits the Ardeatine Caves mausoleum annually, where 335 Romans were killed by Nazis in 1944.

Italian cities held marches and parades, and political rallies usually occurred in Rome and Milan. We hear the song ‘Bella Ciao’ at most of these events. It became known as the anthem of the Italian resistance movement and today reminds listeners of the sacrifices made by those fighters. Many shops and services, including restaurants, post offices and public transport, are usually closed on this date.

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