Italy celebrates Italian Unity Day on 17 March

Festa dell’Unità d’Italia is a national day of celebration in Italy.

Italy marks the occasion on 17 March each year with the Festa dell’Unità d’Italia, a national day of celebration to commemorate the birth of the country as a modern nation state.

The national day marks the anniversary of the proclamation in Turin of the Kingdom of Italy on 17 March 1861 when Victor Emmanuel II, King of Sardinia and Piedmont, became King of Italy.

The complete unification of Italy was a gradual process however and occurred over subsequent decades.

  • The history of the Italian flag

In 1866 the Veneto and the province of Mantua were annexed after the Third Italian War of Independence, then in 1870 Lazio after the capture of Rome, and finally in 1918 Trentino-Alto Adige and Julian March after world war one.

  • Italian nationalism explained

Established in 1911 on the 50th anniversary of the unification of Italy, the national day is not a public holiday, although the country did celebrate the event with a day off in 2011 to mark the 150th anniversary.