June 2 is the day that marks when Italy became a Republic. On June 2 and 3, 1946, Italians voted in a referendum to choose between maintaining the monarchy or becoming a republic, to which they chose the latter. It’s a day to reflect on republican values of freedom, democracy and national unity.

Republic Day is celebrated with various official ceremonies across Italy. In Rome, celebrations include a military parade attended by the highest offices of State, including the President of the Republic, who lays a laurel wreath at the Altar of the Fatherland to honour the Unknown Soldier. There are also cultural events, concerts and fireworks in many Italian cities.

Abroad, Italian Republic Day is also celebrated with various initiatives, organised mainly by the Italian Embassies, Consulates and communities in those cities, just like here in Melbourne. These celebrations are an opportunity for Italians to keep their cultural roots alive and to transmit to younger generations the significance of their heritage. They also provide an opportunity to promote Italian culture and foster diplomacy and economic ties abroad, helping to consolidate the image of Italy as a country rich with history, innovation and tradition.

As announced in previous editions of Il Globo, Republic Day in Melbourne will this year be hosted by the Calabria Club of Bulla. This is a community event involving a wide range of stakeholders, including local Italian clubs, cultural institutions, associations and other organisations representing the wide diversity of the tricolour’s regions. With just over a week to go before the big day, the program for the festival has finally been made public, with an exciting lineup of activities for everyone.

There will be two stages with live entertainment, an entire area just for kids, stalls from various Italian clubs offering traditional regional dishes (or visitors can dine in style at the Calabria Club restaurant) and of course, bocce!

The day will start at 9:45 a.m. with the ceremony of the Armed and Combatant Associations of Melbourne, which will be followed by a Mass in Italian before the festivities begin.

The “Girotondo” will offer forty-five minutes of non-stop fun with games, stories, songs, dances and creative workshops dedicated to the little ones, followed by the magic show of ‘The Great Armando’. Closing out the children’s entertainment will be the music, singing and dancing session by Sara.

Meanwhile, at the gazebo, audiences can enjoy the Rustica Project, an ensemble formed by Felice Paone, Elvira Andrioli, Fulvio Cabrera, Tony Villella and Anthony Stalio, who will perform thirty minutes of folk and popular music from Southern Italy with traditional instruments like the Calabrian lyre.

Next, the stage will be graced by Kavisha Mazzella, an ambassador of traditional Italian music for more than 40 years, followed by the duo of Cosimo Ciccone and Rada Tochalna, ready to enchant with their show “classical voices”, interpreting many great classics from the history of Italian music such as Nessun dorma and O sole mio.

Closing the afternoon will be Mazzella, together with the Rustica Project, getting everyone on their feet to the rhythm of Tarantella. Elsewhere at the event, there will also be performances by the choir of the Casa d’Abruzzo Club, the Veneto Club and the Banda Bellini, the only traditional Italian band that has existed in Melbourne for more than fifty years!

Don’t miss the Italian Festa, ci vediamo li’!