Celebrating the Festa della Repubblica

The 2nd of June is celebrated in Italy as the beginning of the Republic of Italy. This only came about in 1946 after a national (actually the first ever vote by the people) who rejected the monarchy with the King (from the House of Savoy) in favor of the Republic.

The ceremony (much like the 4th of July to the US and Bastille Day to the French) is held in Rome and includes the placing of a laurel wreath as a tribute to the Italian Unknown Soldier at the Victor Emmanuel II Monument and a military parade. The Italian Air Force team known as the Frecce TriColori flew over in Rome. In Venice it takes the form of a marching through Piazza San Marco. And a race of between Pisa, Genoa, Amalfi and Venice rowers.

This year’s race was won by Genoa, the eternal rival of Venice. The battles between the two City States went on for a couple of centuries.

Venice’s boat is above. The crews battled it out in the water, in a 2,000-metre competition course, from the Sant’Elena Gardens along the San Marco Basin to the finish line in front of the Basilica della Salute.

The crew consists of 8 rowers plus a helmsman. This was the 68th race and Venice holds a considerable advantage in wins with 34 victories, followed by Amalfi with 13 victories, then Genoa with 11 victories, finally Pisa with 8.

It is a national holiday so most things are closed, except of course Venice merchants are always open.