Festa della Repubblica (literally Festival of the Republic or, in English, Republic Day) is celebrated in Italy on June 2 each year. The day commemorates the institutional referendum held by universal suffrage in 1946, in which the Italian people were called to the polls to decide on the form of government, following the Second World War and the fall of Fascism. With 12,717,923 votes for a republic and 10,719,284 for the monarchy, the male descendants of the House of Savoy were sent into exile. To commemorate it, a grand military parade is held in central Rome, presided over by the President of the Italian Republic in his role as Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces. The Prime Minister, formally known as the President of the Council of Ministers and other high officers of state also attend.
Prior to the foundation of the Republic, the Italian national day was the first Sunday in June, anniversary of the granting of the Statuto Albertino.
In 1948, Via dei Fori Imperiali hosted the first military parade in honor of the new Italian Republic. The following year, with Italy’s entry into NATO, ten were held simultaneously across the country and in 1950, the parade was featured for the first time in the protocol of official celebrations. This provides for the ceremonial laying of a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Vittoriano. The ceremony continues in the afternoon with the opening of the gardens of the Quirinale Palace, seat of the President of the Republic and with musical performances by the band ensembles of the Italian Army, Italian Navy, Italian Air Force, the “Arma dei Carabinieri”, State Police, the “Guardia di Finanza”, the Penitentiary Police Corps and the State Forestry Corps.
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