Liberation Day (Italian: Festa della liberazione), also known as the Anniversary of Italy's Liberation (Anniversario della Liberazione d'Italia), Anniversary of the Resistance (Anniversario della Resistenza), or simply April 25 (25 aprile) is a national holiday in Italy that commemorates the end of the fascist regime and of the occupation by Nazi Germany during World War II and the victory of the Resistance in Italy. That is distinct from Republic Day (Festa della Repubblica), which takes place on 2 June.
The date was chosen by convention, as it was the day of the year 1945 when the National Liberation Committee of Upper Italy (CLNAI) officially proclaimed the insurgency in a radio announcement, propounding the seizure of power by the CLNAI and proclaiming the death sentence for all fascist leaders (including Benito Mussolini, who was shot three days later).
By 1 May, all of northern Italy was liberated, including Bologna (21 April), Genoa (23 April), Milan (25 April), Turin and Venice (28 April). The liberation put an end to twenty-three years of fascist dictatorship and five years of war. It symbolically represents the beginning of the historical journey which led to the referendum of 2 June 1946, when Italians opted for the end of the monarchy and the creation of the Italian Republic, which was followed by the adoption of the Constitution of the Republic in 1948.
Institutionalization of the date
The current date was chosen in 1946, and in most Italian cities, marches and parades are organised to commemorate the event. On 22 April 1946, the Disposizioni in materia di ricorrenze festive ("Provisions on festive occasions") decree created the national holiday. The bill states that Per celebrare la totale liberazione del territorio italiano, il 25 aprile 1946 è dichiarato festa nazionale ("In celebration of the total liberation of the Italian territory, 25 April 1946 is declared a national holiday").
On 27 May 1949, Law 260 made the anniversary a permanent, annual national holiday.