Liberation Day, known as Anniversario della Liberazione or Festa della Liberazione, is celebrated on 25th April in Italy. It commemorates the end of fascist rule and the occupation of the country by Nazi Germany.
The holiday honours all those who died during the war, whether that was military or civilian casualties. Estimates put the number of Italians deaths at almost half a million. Partisans in the Italian Resistance who fought Mussolini’s troops as well as the Nazis are especially honoured.
The liberation also marked the end of 23 years of fascist rule of Italy.
It has been a public holiday in Italy since 1946.
How does Italy celebrate Liberation Day?
Across Italy, there are gatherings with varied celebrations from concerts, marching bands and political rallies. In addition, there are parades across the country, organised by ANPI, the National Partisan Association of Italy.
The anthem of the anti-fascist resistance is ‘Bella Ciao’. The song tells of a partisan who died for Italian freedom, whose only wish was to be buried in the mountains under the shadow of a beautiful flower. Singing ‘Bella Ciao’ on Liberation Day has become a popular tradition.
In Rome, there is a ceremony in the morning at the Altare della Patria, which the Italian president attends.
On the day all state schools and offices will be closed as well as many shops.