June 2: Italy’s Republic Day

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Read this article in italian

On June 2 is Italy’s Republic Day. In 2021 the Italian Republic will be 75 years old! But why is it celebrated on June 2? Let’s find out together. Together with the video you will find exercises that are suitable for both classroom use and self-paced learning. Have a good study!

Video: Italy’s Republic Day

June 2: Italy’s Republic Day. Why?

Italy’s Republic Day is celebrated on June 2 and it’s a holiday, so no school or work. Why June 2? Between June 2 and 3, 1946 a referendum was held to decide what form of government to give to the country: monarchy or republic? The Republic won with 54% of the votes, just over half. Italy thus became a Republic!

scheda elettorale - June 2: Italy's Republic Day

1861-1946: The Kingdom of Italy

Before becoming a Republic, Italy was a monarchy. From the Unification of Italy in 1861 until 1946, so for a total of 85 years, Italy was called the Kingdom of Italy and was a constitutional monarchy. There were four Kings of Italy: Victor Emmanuel II (1861-1878), Umberto I (1878-1900), Victor Emmanuel III (1900-1946) and the last one, Umberto II, who ruled just over a month, from May 9 to June 18, 1946, and was therefore nicknamed “King of May”.

And then… the Republic!

And so from 1946 Italy is a Republic. The first Prime Minister (1946-1953) was Alcide De Gasperi, who played a major role in the birth of both the Italian Republic and the European Union.

Alcide de Gasperi 2 - June 2: Italy's Republic Day

The emblem of the Italian Republic

emblema repubblica italiana - June 2: Italy's Republic Day

The emblem of the Italian Republic is composed of several symbolic elements:

  • The Star of Italy, a white five-pointed star with a red border. It is the most ancient symbol used to represent Italy. In fact it is found in many iconographies together with the personification of Italy.
italia turrita - June 2: Italy's Republic Day
  • The cogwheel, symbol of work. This symbol represents Article 1 of the Italian Constitution, according to which Italy is a democratic republic founded on labor:

“Italy is a democratic Republic, founded on labor. Sovereignty belongs to the people, who exercise it in the forms and within the limits of the Constitution.”

  • The olive branch, a symbol of peace and the oak branch, a symbol of strength and dignity. Both branches represent very typical trees in Italy.

Hymn of Italy (Hymn of Mameli)

The hymn has several stanzas, here you can find the parts of the song that are usually sung, namely the first stanza and the refrain.

Inno dItalia.001 - June 2: Italy's Republic Day

Italiano

Fratelli d’Italia,
l’Italia s’è desta,
dell’elmo di Scipio
s’è cinta la testa.
Dov’è la vittoria?!
Le porga la chioma,
ché schiava di Roma
Iddio la creò.
(x2)
Stringiamci a coorte,
siam pronti alla morte,
siam pronti alla morte,
l’Italia chiamò.
Stringiamci a coorte,
siam pronti alla morte,
siam pronti alla morte,
l’Italia chiamò! Sì!

Inglese

Brothers of Italy,
Italy has woken,
bound Scipio’s helmet
Upon her head.
Where is Victory?
Let her tender her hair to Rome,
Because [as a] slave of Rome
God created her.
(x2)
Let us join in a cohort
We are ready to die,
We are ready to die,
Italy has called.
Let us join in a cohort,
We are ready to die.
We are ready to die,
Italy has called! Yes!

Tedesco

Brüder Italiens,
Italien hat sich erhoben,
Und hat mit Scipios Helm
Sich das Haupt geschmückt.
Wo ist die Siegesgöttin Victoria?
Sie möge Italien ihr Haupt zuneigen,
Denn als eine Sklavin Roms
Hat Gott sie erschaffen.
(x2)
Lasst uns die Reihen schließen,
Wir sind bereit zum Tod,
Wir sind bereit zum Tod,
Italien hat gerufen!
Lasst uns die Reihen schließen,
Wir sind bereit zum Tod,
Wir sind bereit zum Tod,
Italien hat gerufen! Ja!

Explanation

Italians, we are all brothers despite cultural differences. Our nation has woken up and put on its head the helmet of Scipio Africanus, the Roman leader who defeated Carthage, the greatest enemy of ancient Rome. Italy is destined to win because it is heir to ancient Rome, which has always been victorious. The goddess Victory is bound to Rome by God’s design, through its many victories she became its slave and as such, she must give to Rome her hair (slaves used to have their hair cut). So let us unite as an army in battle (the cohort was a military unit of the Roman army), willing even to die for Italy.

Learn more!

LETTERATURA: Dante e la Divina Commedia
CORSO D’ITALIANO: Italian Course A1
STORIE: Read stories in Italian

Main source information and song translations: Wikipedia
The song of the hymn of Italy is taken from kiwanis.it

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