Italian Unity, the birthday of a Nation

We’re nearly arrived to the 150 years of Italian Unity eve and we’re all waiting curiously and quite impatiently for the celebrations in Italian cities to come.

Lots of exhibitions, events, lessons and many kinds of initiatives are already ongoing for a few days, in some cases also for months, dedicated to patriotism and to Risorgimento, a whole Italian riot movement against foreign oppressors and against devided Italian States for the unification of the country.

In January a list, available in full version in the celebrations official web site, has also been drawn with “Luoghi della memoria” (Memorial sites), monuments, squares and streets, often in state of neglect and forgetfulness, calling back the memory to the facts that led to the Unity. Amog them there are the Monumento alla Difesa in Venice, Parco del Gianicolo in Rome, Monumento a Garibaldi and Lungomare di Quarto dei Mille, Santa Croce in Firenze, Monumento alle Cinque Giornate in Milan, the Primo Parlamento Italiano in Palazzo Carignano , Turin, and many others.

The State railways committed themselves to raise the number of trains and to restore some rail traits, museums opened with new settlements, cities are decorated with flag colors, green, white and red.
It’s all ready.

As it happens for every big party, Italy will wait awake for its “birthday” until the first lights of the day.
Right, because the Notte Tricolore (The Three-colors Night) will anticipate a little bit the party, a nocturnal event held during the night between March, 16th-17th involving the whole country and getting us ready for the festive atmosphere accompanying the commemorations of the cities, small or bigger, whatever, that want to give their contribution for that day not to be one of the many.

Following the official schedule, many museums will keep their doors open for the whole duration of the event as for lot of shops and pubs, and each city that decide to join will organize concerts, lectures and displays indipendently one from another.

When finally the morning will come, at 7′o clock on March, 17th, in the whole country the tricolor flag will be hoisted upon the main monuments in a salute to the nation.


In the city of Turin, the first capital city of Unified Italy and neuralgic center of these celebrations, the night will be lighted up by “Luci d’Artista” (Artist’s Lights), luminous art works installed already during the winter that in celebrating will come to bright again until June, 30th, but also by fireworks shot from Piazza Vittorio Veneto. The old town center squares will be full of people arrived to join the part and of food and wine stands representing all the Italian Regions leaving the stage at midnight to Piemonte’s district “introducing” themselves with square celebrations.

At 5 in the morning on March, 17th, a group of brave men will leave from Saluzzo, a small city in the district of Cuneo, sailing the Po river up to Turin, carrying with them all the people who want to join their trip, to cover together the commercial paths the river used to fill at the Unity’s eve. The arrival is scheduled in the afternoon in Via Murazzi del Po. For further information on this initiative you can contact

The party in Turin will invade the center squares, especially in Piazza Vittorio Veneto, and then retire itself in Torino’s lounges; each Piemonte’s district will organize it own party individually.

In Esperienza Italia (Experience Italy) project a lot of shows are previews among which you will surely find the one opening your mind and maybe your heart to celebrations: the Museo Egizio (Egyptian Museum) will open the doors with a brand new mounting signed Dante Ferretti (Oscar winner for scenography) and the Museo dell’Automobile (Car Museum) will have a new visiting path; at Palazzo Carignano you could visit the reconstruction of the First Italian Senate, while in Officina Grandi Riparazioni you can enter the display “Fare gli italiani” (Make Italians) which retraces the historical stages from Unity to nowadays, and “Il futuro nelle mani, artieri di domani” (The future in your hands, artists of tomorrow), dedicated to made in Italy between handiwork and digital art.

Reggia di Venaria Reale will put on show 350 masterpieces of Italian art until 1860 in “La bella Italia” (The beautiful Italy), in addiction to hosting “Un’espressione geografica” (A geographical expression, quoting Metternich describing Italy), a 20 international contemporary artworks show reinterpretign tha main features of each Italian Region, and “Il Bacio. Un capolavoro per l’Italia” (The Kiss. A masterpiece for Italy), the Hayez masterpiece which travelled all around the peninsula and will be hosted in the Reggia until September, 11th.

The sightseeing buses of Turin, as it happened for the exposition of the Holy Shroud, will double line services, covering even the areas of Olympic Torino and Officina Grandi Riparazioni (OGR) up to Museo dell’Automobile.
The chocolate fair, CioccolaTò, will be put on the scene with a preview called “I Mille di CioccolaTò” (The Thousand of CioccolaTò), in Piazza Vittorio Veneto, with hundreds of stands dedicated to Gods’ food.

Keeping the mind on sweetnesses, from march, 17th you can also buy a particular kind of ice cream created bny the union between Northern Italy delicacies, the chocolate and the Gianduja, and the Southern ones, the orange peel and the coffee, paying the symbolic amount of 150 euro cents (1,50 €) at the Ice cream shop located in Corso Vittorio Emanuele II.

The next day, on March, 18th, the President of the Italian Republic will arrive into the city where he’s going to make some sort of pilgrimage to the main Risorgimental sites, preside the inauguration of the monument to 2011, an arch composed by “marble, bronze and lively nature”, and recive to the Teatro Regio a bust made up of Carrara’s marble from Fondazione Cavour.


For the Tricolor Night the Museo del ’900 (XX century museum) and the Storia Moderna one (Modern History Museum) will keep the doors open and themed events will be organized around the main city monuments.

For the 17th the display “Battaglie per l’Italia. Le grandi tele tornano a Palazzo Reale” (Battles for Italy. The great canvas come back to Palazzo Reale) is scheduled to open in Sala delle Cariatidi of the Palace itself, with 9 great painted canvas about the biggest Risorgimental battles commissioned by king Vittorio Emanuele II for the residency and scattered until nowadays.

Between March, 17th to 22nd the city will celebrate in memory of Cinque Giornate di Milano (The Five Days of Milan – March, 18th to 22nd 1848), five days during which the citizens uprose against Austrian oppressors under the command of General Radetzky on the stream of Lombardo-Veneto and Kingdom of Two Sicilies riots. from March, 20th, in Museo del Risorgimento, will open “Cronaca di una rivoluzione. Immagini e luoghi delle Cinque Giornate di Milano” (Chronicles of a rebellion. Images and places of Five Days of Milan), with plastics, interactive maps, unpublished watercolors, paintings remembering those glorious days and Carlo Cattaneo, a patriota, who has a dedicated studies-day.


The patriotism of the city of Genoa will express itself in the night March, 16th, without the City Administration coordination, but it will be memorable as well. Some folk dance ensambles and bands will participate dedicating thmesevles to popular Italian music Museums, as it happens in the rest of Italy, will keep open.

On Thurdsay morning the show in Palazzo DucaleGenova. Un porto per la nuova Italia” (Genoa. A harbour for new Italy) will be open, exploring and analyzing the central role of Genoa harbour for the developpment of the city and the country exposing documents, paintings, watercolors, photos and video testimonies.

In the same palace, already from last year, it has been taking place a cycle of public meetings on the theme of the recount of Risorgimento made by writers. Next meeting will take place in March, 25th and it will be intitled “Alla scoperta di un’altra Italia” (The discovery of another Italy) leading down the brightlights a book of Giuseppe C.Abba, “Da Quarto al Volturno. Noterelle di uno dei Mille” (From Quarto to Volturno. Notes of one of the Thousand).

On March, 10th and 19th there have been pointed put as Giornate Mazziniane (Mazzini’s Days)and many initiatives will be organized from Genoa City, from the Istituto Mazziniano and from Museo del Risorgimento. On March, 17th there will be the extraordinary opening of Casa Mazzini (Mazzini’s House) and at 16 and 17′o clock you could attend the projection of the short film “Il canto degli italiani” (The song of Italians) of M.Benedetti.


Venice had already started celebrating these 150 years of Unity dedicating the great Carnival known all over the world and choosing “Ottocento” (XIX century) as main theme for the fetivity.
From January, 20th there are also in place weekly meetings at Scoletta dei Caleghieri at an Tomà entitled “Centocinquanta anni d’Italia unita nella storia, nel pensiero, nella letteratura e nella musica” (One hundred-fifty years of Italy united in history, though, literature and music).

On march, 15th, next meeting date, the exhibition “Canti sociali e di protesta dall’Unità d’Italia alla Prima Guerra Mondiale” (Social and protest songs from Italian Unity to the First World War) will extraordinaly take place in Coro Marmolada of Venezia, in Santa Croce, while on March, 17th, in Scoletta, you could assist the debate on “Intuizioni etico-religiose del Risorgimento: Rosmini e Mazzini” (Ethic-religious intuition of Risorgimento: Rosmini and Mazzini).


In the city many extraordinary events have been promoted for these celebrations and everybody can’t wait to verify if the promise has been kept.

For the Three-colors Night city museums will be, obviously, open with free access for citizens. But there’s more. The City allowed derogations for shops to put external decorations: among the shop windows there will be a contest to choose the most beautiful on the theme of Italian flag.

At 19 on Wednesday, March, 16th the Florentine celebration will start with events scattered in the three main squares dedicated to “talents” the Unity brought and bring to Italy: in Piazza Santa Croce there will be put on the scene theatre and music shows on a great stage to celebrate the Language, in Piazza della Signoria will be set a second stage to celebrate Art, and, finally, in Piazza Duomo there will be celebrated Artisanship with smatt stands dedicated to productions.
In Salone dei Cinquecento in Palazzo Vecchio there will be also the theatre show of the book “Viva l’Italia” (Long live Italy) of A.Cazzullo.

The “Via del Tricolore” (Tricolor street) will route along the trait between Piazza Beccaria and Piazza della Repubblica, passing through Borgo degli Albizi and Via del Corso, and it will be papered with colors green, white and red while the new lighting for Palazzo Pitti will be inaugurated in line with the policy of enhacement of the monument and the energy saving.

At the stroke of Midnight the mayor Renzi will raise the tricolor flag, gifted by President Napolitano, over the roof of the new builded theatre of Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, and inside the dockyard the Maggio Danza will perform. The live TV link between Florence, Turin and Rome, the Capital cities of the United Italy, will valorise even more the union of the country for the celebrations.

March, 17th will be the last day available to visit “Addio, mia bella, addio. Da Curtatone a Calatafimi, i fatti d’arme che fecero l’Unità d’Italia” (Goodbye, my love, goodbye. From Curtatone to Calatafimi, the battles which made the Italian Unity), the second part of the dislay divided in two sections of Biblioteca Riccardiana.


Even Pisa‘s getting ready for celebrations. On March, 16th the statue for Mazzini will be inaugurated in Piazza Mazzini, while in the city many displays are ongoing dedicated to Risorgimento: until April, 3rd at the University Library of Pisa antiques and documents will be exposed in a documentary exhibition with special unpuplished about the visit of Vittorio Emanuele II to the city and the celebrations in his honor.

From March to May you can visit the display dedicated to “La voci delle donne nella storia d’Italia e il loro contributo negli ultimi 150 anni” (The voices of women in the Italian history and their contribution in last 150 years) to get to know something more about the femminine role in Italian Unity.
With regard to music, on March, 17th in Palazzo la Sapienza in Via Curtatone in honor of all time most representative musician of the Italian unification movement will take place “Viva Verdi” (Long live to Verdi) with a fantasy of tracks inspired to Verdi and Risorgimento.


For the Tricolor Night, the city of Lucca will light up Palazzo Ducale with green, white and red beams and will equip a welcome and expositive path for visitors as well as a music concert.
Until April, 31st, the Museo Italiano del Fumetto e dell’Immagine in Piazza san Romano will host the display dedicated to illustrations and animation films themed Risorgimento, a different way to show events to the public.

March, 17th will be the inaugural day for conferences in Palazzo Ducale with scientific and cultural features on the most representative characters of Unity. The entrance is free.

Camaiore e Pietrasanta

In the two cities for the Tricolor Night there will be theatre representations dedicated to United Italy.
In Camaiore, at Teatro dell’Olivo, at 21o’clock, by Coquelicot there will take place the representation of Risorgimento events.
In Pietrasanta, instead, at Teatro Comunale, same hour, there will be the concert for Tricolor Night .


In Sala degli Arazzi of Prefettura di Siena (Siena Prefecture) o March, 16th in the evening, there will a tribute concert to Michele Novaro, the author of music of Inno di Mameli (The Italian Hymn), while in Accademia dei Fisiocritici there will be exposed the Tricolor restaured and projected the film “Il tricolore” of Luca Verdone with a reading of a discourse on the Tricolor by Mario Luzi.

At the Jewish Community you can visit the display “Pennello e moschetto. I pittori ebrei e il Risorgimento” (Paintbrush and musket. The Jewish painters and the Risorgimento).

On March, 17th interested visitors could go in Sabta Maria della Scala to see the show “L’anima e la musica. L’esperienza romantica e l’età del Risorgimento” (The soul and the music. The Romantic experience and the Age of Risorgimento) with a reconstruction of the social climate of that period.
In Siena district villas and exposition normally closed will be open to the public, as the collection Ricasoli in Gaiole in Chianti with guided tours to Castello di Brolio.

Barberino del Mugello

Even in Mugello the Unity will be celebrated all over the villages that won’t renounce to join the party.
The patriotism sometimes is more lively in those small communities than in big cities and for that reason the atmosphere could be more involving.
In Barberino del Mugello, on March,17th in City rooms, the Festa del Tricolore and a conference of Prof. Giovanni Gozzini from University of Siena will take place.

Everywhere in Italy the celebrations for 150th of the Unity will finish with fireworks in the main squares of the cities.

So, Italy is getting ready to be flooded with green, white and red. And you, what are you waiting for?

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2 Responses to “Italian Unity, the birthday of a Nation”

  1. 1

    Good work, keep it up, it is wonderfully informative Thanks U

  2. 2

    I and my students are waiting more info including cities of the South and celebrations there. Thanks.Arrivederci, U