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Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in Italy Series at ItalianPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind Italian holidays and observances. I’m Becky, and you're listening to Season 1 Lesson 7, Republic Day.
Did you know that Italy was founded as a monarchy in 1861?
After elections were held on June 2, 1946, after World War II, the Italians decided to abolish the monarchy and became a republic. Today June 2, is known as Republic Day.
In this lesson, you'll learn more about how Italians celebrate this day.
Now, before we go into more detail, we’ve got a question for you. Do you know in which city the “tricolor,” the national flag of Italy, was created?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep listening.
Italy was originally a monarchy; in fact, its unification was commissioned by the Savoia family, a noble family of Piemontesi origin. From 1861, both the king and parliament co-existed for nearly ninety years. Unfortunately, the Savoia family was not much loved by the Italians, especially because they did not oppose the fascist dictatorship, and during the Second World War, they left the army and the people without any guidance. In 1946, not only was the monarchy abolished, but the Savoia were also sent into exile outside Italy, an exile that lasted until 2002.
June 2, like April 25, is celebrated with a ceremony in Rome at the Altar of the Fatherland, and is attended by the President of Italy. With this festival people also remember the so-called “Italian economic miracle,” the recovery of Italy’s economy after the five long years of World War II. Although many cities were destroyed by aerial bombings, everything changed quickly and the standard of living improved in a short span of time.
A particularly interesting event on June 2 is the special opening of the Palazzo del Quirinale in Rome. The Palazzo del Quirinale is one of the most beautiful monuments in Rome, but also serves as the residence of the President. It’s a building from the sixteenth century and was the king's palace until 1945; its rooms and gardens are very beautiful, and those who manage to see them are considered very lucky.
One of the most beautiful events of this day is definitely the “Tricolor Air show,” which is when Italian army aircraft draw the Italian flag in the sky with amazing aerobatics and colored smoke.
Now it's time to answer our quiz question-
Do you know in which city the “tricolor,” the national flag of Italy, was created?
The “tricolor” of green, white, and red, was created in Reggio Emilia in 1797, long before Italy was unified.
Well listeners, how was this lesson? Did you learn something new?
Do you celebrate Independence Day or Republic Day in your country?
Please leave a comment telling us at ItalianPod101.com!
See you next time!