Every year the 25th of April is celebrated as “Liberation Day” in Italy.
The 25th of April 1945 marked the end of fascism – Mussolini’s regime – after the end of World War II. The day commemorates the people who laid down their lives fighting the fascist leader. It was in 1943 that the Italian Resistance Movement, called “La Resistenza”, started to fight against the oppressive rule of Mussolini. Numerous groups of resistance fighters called “I Partigiani” were formed in the occupied areas so the German and fascist position was gradually weakened by guerrilla warfare, in preparation for the long-awaited Allied surge.
Following the useful contribution of the 35,000 women in the Liberation Movement of Italy, the end of the fascist regime also marked the participation of women in politics in Italy. Thus, the Liberation Day of Italy also saw a major reform in Italian politics which continues to this day.
The 25th of April is a public holiday in Italy, every Italian village and city has streets by the name “Via XXV Aprile”. Most of the country shuts down on this day — including public buildings, transportation and many restaurants — so citizens can attend the robust celebrations around the country to commemorate la Festa della Liberazione. Large processions take place in many parts of the country. Bands are seen performing on the street, concerts are organiansed political rallies are also held to celebrate this day. Every event on the day of liberation is dedicated to the martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the sake of the Italian nation. The most elaborate celebrations occur in the capital city of Rome, notably the Italian president’s annual visit to the Ardeatine Caves mausoleum, where 335 Romans were killed by the Nazis in 1944.
To this day, in every corner of Italian streets you can hear the song ‘Bella Ciao’ a popular folk song dedicated to the men who had died fighting for freedom. This song was the anthem of the Italian Resistance Movement during World War II, often sung by the left-wing anti-fascist rebels who fought against the atrocities of the Nazis and the leader of Italy, Benito Mussolini. Even today, the lyrics are symbolic of the sacrifices made for freedom.
Many of you know this song already, but I would like to share it with you. I chose this version by Modena City Ramblers, also known as M.C.R., an Italian folk band founded in 1991 by a group of friends that wanted to play traditional Irish music. This explains why their music is heavily influenced by Celtic themes. On Saint Patrick’s Day in 1991, during a concert in a pub in Modena, they chose the name “Modena City Ramblers”; the name was an homage to Irish band “Dublin City Ramblers“.
Hope you like it! 😉