Happy Birthday Italy!

The ‘Festa della Repubblica’ is the Italian national holiday celebrated on the second day of June. It commemorates the referendum of 1946 when, by universal suffrage, the Italian population was called to decide on which form of government (monarchy or republic) should replace Fascism after the Second World War.

After 85 years of monarchy, and with 12,717,923 votes for and 10,719,284 votes against, Italy became a Republic, and the monarchs of the House of Savoy were deposed and exiled. This is one of the most important Italian national holidays which, like July 14th in France (Storming of the Bastille) and July 4th in the USA (Independence Day), celebrate the birth of the nation.

Picture is of the Italian Frecce Tricolori doing their impressive stuff.  More background on the Festa here.

Tanti auguri!

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No Paradise for the Workers

Happy Festa del Lavoro! The picture is ‘Il Quarto Stato – The Fourth Estate (1901)’ by Giuseppe Pellizza da Volpedo.  It’s in the Museo del Novecento, Milan.

Originally titled “The Path of Workers”, this painting is ‘an icon of the twentieth century, depicting workers (members of the fourth estate) on strike marching towards the light, and painted in the “chromoluminarist” or divisionist style‘. The composition of the painting is balanced in ‘its shapes and vibrant in its light, giving the perfect idea of a mass movement, with equal space given to a woman with a baby in her arms marching with her co-workers’.

113 years later, the employment of Italian workers, or rather the lack of it, remains a political hot potato in Italy.

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