Buono Festa della Liberazione!
La Festa della Liberazione falls every year on April 25th and celebrates Italy's liberation from Mussolini's Italian Social Republic and Nazi rule. Like the Fourth of July in the United States, Festa della Librazione is a day to honor those who have fought for freedom and is a day filled with celebration. The entire country shuts down schools, businesses, and even government buildings so that everyone can attend the many festivals and parades celebrating Liberation Day. And since Labor Day is just around the corner, many Italians take an extended vacation from Liberation Day to Labor Day on May 1st, making it a lively time to visit!
What is Festa della Liberazione, or Liberation Day?
On April 25th, 1945, a nationwide radio announcement aired encouraging a revolutionary uprising leading to Italy's liberation. The group responsible for the broadcast became known as i partigiani, or the Italian partisans. I partigiani was a diverse group of ex-military members, farmers, and factory workers. Their actions inspired thousands of men and women across Italy to gather together and strive for freedom.
In addition to the parades and ceremonies that occur throughout Italy on April 25th, another piece of history is commemorated on this day- the song "Bella Ciao." The song was written to commemorate the death of a member of the resistance, who requested to be buried on the mountain with the flowers. Throughout the streets, you'll hear people singing the phrase: "E questo è il fiore del partigiano … morto per la libertà! Bella Ciao!" Meaning: "This is the flower of the partisan... who died for freedom! Goodbye, beautiful!". You can listen to the song here.
Where should you visit?
Rome is where a lot of the action will be, as Italy's president makes an annual trip to the capital city to honor those who aided in Italy's liberation. A ceremony is held at Altare della Patria, followed by parades around the city. If you're looking to attend the ceremony on the 25th, we suggest arriving before April 21st so that you can also take part in Natale di Roma, or Rome's birthday! The celebration is filled with actors dressed as gladiators and reenactments of gladiator battles. We advise making your hotel reservations well in advance for these dates!
If you happen to be in Venice on Festa della Liberazione, you'll be able to partake in one of the cities most significant celebrations, Festa di San Marco. The celebration of the Patron Saint Mark falls on the same day as Liberation Day, making Venice the place to be immersed in Italian culture. This is a great time to visit St. Mark's Square, as you'll also witness Festa del Bocolo, where men give all the women in their lives roses!
Liberation Day is also a big day for food in Italy, with several food festivals held across the country! One of the largest is BioFioricola di Primavera, which is hosted in Pelago. BioFioricola di Primavera celebrates natural and fresh food and focuses on teaching sustainable practices to future generations. In addition to the local art shops, there's also plenty of temporary art exhibitions that show how to respect and preserve the environment. Make sure you stick around to enjoy the live music in the afternoon!
In addition to food festivals, there is also plenty of cooking going on in the homes of Italians. If you're looking to make your own dish in celebration of Festa della Liberazione consider a simple pasta primavera using the vegetables in season in your area, add a sprinkle of freshly grated pecorino, and a healthy drizzle of olive oil, and you're good to go! Or you can give this recipe for risotto with pomegranate and cheese and try! Little pops of juicy pomegranates perfectly complement the smooth and rich cheese. Check out this gorgeous serving dish for your creation from Tesori!