April 25th: Festa Della Liberazione – Liberation Day in Italy:
Festa della Liberazione or Liberation Day is celebrated in Italy on April 25th. On this day, the whole country remembers its liberation by Allied troops during World War II.
April 25th is also a day to remember the victims of the war and especially the men and women of the Italian Resistance who fought the Nazis and Mussolini’s troops to defend the country’s freedom.
Italian Public Holiday
It is a national holiday in Italy and banks and public offices are closed as well as some museums, shops and restaurants. If you are visiting during this period, you are likely to see remembrance ceremonies, marching bands, rallies, concerts and other events…and lots of Italian flags. In the major cities and tourist areas the events are more staged than in the smaller towns where the celebrations take a more intimate tone.
Bella Ciao – The Partisans’ Song
One song you may hear being sung on April 25th is Bella Ciao – a song sung by the Italian partisans during the war. This simple folk song tells the tale of a partisan going off to fight. He feels death approaching and asks to be buried in the mountain under the shade of a beautiful flower so that when people pass the spot they will remark “what a beautiful flower”. This is the flower of the partisan who died for freedom. This song has become very popular and there are many versions of it in different languages. Hear the original here.
If you think of anything I left out of this post, please feel free to put that on the comment.