Every 25 April, Italy celebrates the Festa della Liberazione which marks the country’s liberation from German occupation and Fascist rule at the end of WWII. 2017 marks the 72nd anniversary.
A public holiday across Italy, all state schools and offices are closed on Tuesday 25 April, as well as many shops. This year many businesses are also closed on Monday 24 April with Italians taking a ponte, or bridge, between the weekend and the holiday.
In Rome the day is marked with a ceremony at the Altare della Patria, attended by Italian president Sergio Mattarella, at 09.00. At the same time, ANPI supporters will walk from Piazza Caduti della Montagnola, between the Tor Marancia and EUR districts, to Piazza di Porta S. Paolo, by the Piramide Cestia monument.
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 seizure of power by CLNAI in a radio announcement. The announcement also contained the news of the death sentence for all fascist leaders (including Benito Mussolini, who was shot three days later).
The liberation put an end to twenty years of fascist dictatorship and five years of war. It symbolically represents the beginning of the historical journey which led to the referendum of June 2, 1946, when Italians opted for an end to the monarchy and the creation of the Italian Republic, which was followed by the adoption of the republic’s Constitution of Italy in 1948.