Italian Unification Day
On March 17, My roommates and I went to Dimmelotu in honor of Italian Unification Day, but really it was just an excuse to go out. No Italians I know care that Italy has been a unified country for 150 years, and they only celebrate this fact every 50 years or so. The Festival of the Republic is much more important and is recognized annually on June 2. In 1946, Italians voted to end the monarchy (which had backed Mussolini) and become a republic.
More important still is Liberation Day, held on April 25. After Italy surrendered to the Allies in World War II, Germany considered it an enemy and became as vicious as you’d expect. Liberation Day recognizes the Allies’ rescue of Italy from this nazi occupation and pays particular tribute to the Italian Resisters who risked their lives to fight fascism and nazism, even when their country sided with Hitler. Interestingly, while Italy participated in both sides of the war, a lot of people here don’t remember that their country originally backed Germany. In their mind, everyone was part of the Resistance and they always sided with the Allies. I guess all countries take liberties with their history.
Seen here: Sarah (American) and roommates Elena (Italian) and Aleksandra (Macedonian).
But back to to the bar! Dimmelotu has the best aperitivo in Reggio Emilia. There are lots of grilled vegetables and cheeses, as well as gourmet onion rings and French fries, all for free with the purchase of a drink. I wore green in honor of both St. Patrick’s Day and Unification Day. Oh, by the way, the Italian flag originated in Reggio Emilia, where we live.