By the way, today is the Festa della Repubblica, the Italian national day. It is, as you can tell from the name, NOT unification day, when Italy became one country. It’s a celebration of when — in 1946 — Italy voted to become a republic, and formed the current government after WWII.
This was not a foregone conclusion. There were 12.7 million votes in favor of forming a republic. There were 10.7 million in favor of restoring the monarchy.
It makes sense. When the king ceded power to a popular government, that populist government was Mussolini’s Fascists. There was not a great track record with non-kings. Particularly in the south, there was a desire to go back to the way things had been, which included festivals with nice desserts. They didn’t have the benefit of knowing what we know today, which is that a republican Italy has many festivals with nice desserts.
But Democracy won. The country made a brave decision and formed a parliament. It would from that point forward be the duty of the people to protect the people. Which they have done. This is verse three of the national anthem they adopted a few months after the vote:
Uniamoci, amiamoci, l'unione e l'amore rivelano ai popoli le vie del Signore.
Let’s unite and love one another. Unity and love reveal to the people the ways of the lord.
Nic says: I dream of the day when we can have a referendum about our monarchy… Even if it wasn’t consigned to history’s dustbin, it would be a huge step to even have it.
Chicca says: Those were very violent times, though. Italy got there and sense prevailed, but there was so much animosity against the King and between his supporters and those against. Glad, of course, we’re well over that now, but Italy is starting to forget its own moral centre, the constitution and how we actually are supposed to help one another and any one in need that makes Italy their new home. It’s a day to celebrate and a day to make us remember what we should be like.