Many years have passed since the proclamation of the Kingdom of Italy, but the memory is still indelible in the minds of Italians. Are you ready to learn more? Then keep reading!
A date that the Bel Paese recalls every year
March 17, 1861. The Unification of Italy was proclaimed in Turin by the Parliament assembled at Palazzo Carignano, together with the proclamation of the Kingdom of Italy by Victor Emmanuel II, who assumed the title of King of Italy for himself and his successors. Equipped with the State Seal, the law was included in the Government Proceedings, becoming a few days later Law n. 1 of the Kingdom of Italy.
A unitary state was therefore born, thus politically unifying the whole of the peninsula, until then divided into seven states. A process that continued and ended definitively with World War I, when the political map of Italy took its current boundaries.
Thus one of the most important Italian festivals was born, a milestone for the history of the country. International approval of the proclamation of the new state was immediate and enthusiastic, and led to immediate recognition by Switzerland, Great Britain and the United States.
So this recurrence represents, in a profound way, the full recognition of the values linked to the national identity, citizenship and civil coexistence of our country, enshrining and institutionalizing in a defined way some of the most important Italian traditions.
A day, that of March 17, which, since November 23, 2012, thanks to a special law, has finally become “National Unity Day, of the Constitution, Anthem and Flag”. Also, the custom of solemnly celebrating the Unification of Italy in reference to the most important anniversaries: 50th, 100th and 150th Anniversary was born.
In 1911, in fact, a dense program of solemn ceremonies, exhibitions and internationally relevant shows accompanied the anniversary. And, for the occasion, the Accademia dei Lincei published the three volumes of Fifty years of Italian history, in which the political, social and economic history of the nation is traced. In 1959, the Anniversary was greeted by the official visit of the general De Gaulle, in memory of the alliance between Italy and France during the Second War of Independence, which in fact represented the spark from which the Unification of Italy could be realized .
In 1961, however, the Centenary was distinguished for the Historical Exhibition of the Unification of Italy and for the Exhibition of Italian Regions, which was flanked by the International Labor Exhibition (Expo 1961). And the director Roberto Rossellini signed two films dedicated to the Risorgimento: Viva l’Italia! – on the expedition of the Thousand – and Vanina Vanini – focused on the Moti Carbonari.
Finally, the 150th Anniversary, in 2011, was planned by an Interministerial Committee (under the supervision of a Committee of Guarantors). On this occasion, the key cities of the initiative were identified in Turin, Milan, Genoa, Venice, Florence, Bologna, Rome and Naples.
And the “Places of Memory” were established which, from Quarto dei Mille to Marsala, represented the places symbolically linked to the process of creating Unity. In recent years, furthermore, this event has begun to represent a moment of reflection on the past of the nation, and also as an opportunity to confirm and defend the unitary values associated with it. It is an invitation to renew those feelings of Patriotism, in the highest sense of the word, which often tend to fade in the Bel Paese.