June 2nd in Rome Republic Day

Today is June 2nd –  the Anniversary of the Republic in Italy. Stands are built along the Via dei Fori Imperiali for the Presidente della Repubblica and important officials and the event culminates with all the various branches of the military filling Piazza Venezia. They have rehearsals several nights in advance and local residents are woken to the sound of military music and amplified drill commands. The first time I experienced this phenomenon I was sleeping in a room with no view of the piazza. I thought there had been a colpa di stato and phoned the carabinieri. Since it was 3 am they were not amused and informed me that ‘permission had been given’. I was left pondering whether you ever needed permission for a coup d’état, especially in Italy ! This evening there will be a concert given by the massed bands of the armed forces. They have been testing the loudspeakers for many days and  we have heard an inappropriate, sugary ‘Try a little Tenderness’ with monotonous regularity. I would have said the amplification was working too well.

I left it too late and got to the window when the parade was all over. People enjoying the sunny day after yesterday’s torrential rain.

 photo June 2nd


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