Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Liberation Day Italy

Cari Amici (Dear Friends),

Sunday, April 25th was a national holiday in Italy, best known as the Festa della Liberazione, or Liberation Day. They celebrate the day in 1945 in which the Allied troops finally liberated Italy from the fascists. It is also a date in which fallen soldiers are remembered and honored. There are a few partigiani (veterans) left from this time and on this day, I helped my local friends celebrate them.

Piazza G. Poggi near the Torre San Niccolò was filled with tables and chairs and my friends and I enjoyed a sit-down dinner in the sun, with unlimited wine and we even made new friends as others joined our table. We wrapped up our long lunch with cantuccini from Prato and vin santo (those lovely crunchy cookies dipped in a sweet liqueur – my favorite!)

After lunch, but before the dolci (dessert), there was a program to honor the vets and one of the attending partigiano made an impassioned speech, that I believe included hoping that Silvio Berlusconi could be defeated. The Italian President is not particularly popular in these parts, and no one I know can fathom how he keeps getting re-elected (other than that he owns all of the media companies.) But, in truth, maybe I was not paying attention closely to the language and the vet was just wishing the president good judgment or something.

Lots of singing followed with folks afterwards forming a small parade to walk uphill to Piazzale Michelangelo to see the irises and other flowers. My party and I moved instead down Via San Niccolò for a coffee before heading down to the Bargello Sculpture Museum and just taking a giro around town. Later that evening, we enjoyed a series of concerts in Piazza Santo Spirito.

For me, this was the first consistently warm day and it was lovely to be out in it with the celebrations going on. A special day for me, too, despite the fact that I did not get any art accomplished. So, now I leave you with images so that I may get to the work at hand. If you would like to see more, check out my Facebook Photo Albums. Enjoy. PACE! (Peace).

Liberation Day explained on Italylogue.com

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