FESTA della Repubblica is the Italian national holiday, making June 2 the most important day on the country’s calendar.
It happily ties in with WA Day, ensuring celebrations for this year’s Italian Festival in Perth are enjoyed by many over the long weekend.
The day marks the historic vote in 1946 when post-facsism and post-war Italians flocked to the polls to reject the Savoy monarchy and become a republic.
In Rome a huge military parade marks the day, but things are a little more relaxed in laid-back Perth: May 24 kicks off a week of more genteel celebrations, organised by the Italo-Australian Welfare and Cultural Centre, in North Perth.
The aim is to showcase all things Italian to the wider community, president Enzo Sirna says.
“And the important contribution Italians have made to our diverse community. They have enriched our society.”
On the first night there’s a dinner dance at the Italian Club, with Tony Pantano, Nick Agostino and Friends, and a couple of Italian film nights and a bridge competition follows.
Wednesday May 28 is the long-anticipated announcement of the winners of the la competizione dolciaria (the sweets competition), and to find out whose home-made vino is the best—not to mention presentation of the Italian community awards.
A dignified Mass celebrating the foundation of the Italian republic at St Brigid’s church marks the beginning of the end of the week’s celebrations.
But when the sun goes down, the ball gowns will come out rivalling the stars for glitter as Italian guys and gals frock up for the Italian National gala ball.