It seems to be that we are in Italy at an interesting time. This weekend was Republic Day in Rome. This seemed to be somewhat like the 4th of July and Memorial day from what I could gather. Here is a little bit of information that was shared with us through Temple on the holiday:
June 2nd marks the birth of the Italian Republic (officially on June 2,
1946) a key event of Italian contemporary history. Until 1946, Italy was
officially a monarchy ruled by the House of Savoy, kings of Italy since the
Risorgimento. However, Benito Mussolini, enjoying the support of the
monarchy, imposed fascism after the October 28, 1922 March on Rome,
eventually engaging Italy in World War II alongside Nazi Germany.
In 1946, Italy became a republic after the results of a popular referendum.
A Constituent assembly was elected at the same time.
Saturday morning there was a parade in honor of this holiday. Many people from Temple weren’t interested in going since it was early in the morning and the subways shut down during and for awhile after it, but I’m glad that I went. The parade was probably one of the slowest and longest parades that I’ve ever been to (not to mention it was pretty uneventful), but it showed a wide range of military attire.
Getting to the parade seemed to be pretty easy. We left the residence around 8:30 and it was smooth sailing up until we got to the center of it. Here, it was a much different story. People were out in the early sun to see their parade. Everyone was lined up on the street behind guard rails to see the parade of the military and other important officials. We managed to push our way through the crowd to get a spot along the fence. Since we’ve been here I haven’t really much noticed the warning that Gianni gave us about Italians not understanding personal space…until then. Everyone was squeezing and if you stepped a toe out of your spot it was gone. It was exciting to see people so eager to see something. At first, I wasn’t sure if we missed it or not, there was a loud voice over a speaker and since I can’t understand Italian, I had no idea what he was announcing. We were worried we’d missed the whole shebang until we saw the first band. After it started, it continued for a long time. We watched uniform after uniform pass and each had it’s own personality to it. I’m not completely sure, but I believe that other countries were showcased in the parade as well. I made sure to snap some shots of the variety, however, it was somewhat difficult to get into a position that I could see clearly.
The two last photos are probably the most bizarre uniforms that we saw. The one with the skirt looking part to it was accompanied by an interesting march in which the me would swing one leg fast and stomp down. A little bit hard to explain, but the photo shows a little bit. The last one is a uniform that came equipped with skis and ski poles. They were also carrying huge backpacks which, accompanied by their bright, puffy white suits made them look somewhat like astronauts. If you’re ever in Italy around June 2, I definitely recommend checking out the parade. Even the seagulls circled to get a good view.