On April 25 Italians celebrate their Liberation Day, a national holiday that used to be enjoyed with concerts, events, and exhibitions to remember how popular resistance forces controlled the northern cities and drive out Nazi troops on their withdrawal to Germany.
This year, however, Italians cannot take to the streets due to the confinement measures imposed by the government to control the pandemic.
On Saturday morning, President Sergio Mattarella paid a solitary tribute on the Altar of the Fatherland, in the Venice Square of Rome, where he deposited a flower wreath at Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Using social networks, citizens call to sing from the balconies and windows the "Bella Ciao" ("Goodbye Beautiful"), a 19th-century folk song protest that has become a tribute to Italian partisans and an anti-fascist hymn worldwide.
Its lyrics speak about a person joining the resistance who request, in case of death during the fight, to be buried up in the mountain and under the shade of a beautiful flower. That way, those who pass by will remember the freedom fighter every time they look at that flower.
“Partisan groups were formed after the armistice of Sep. 8, 1943, on the initiative of anti-fascists civilians and soldiers of the dissolved royal army... the Resistance assumed consistency thanks to the vast participation of workers, farmers, and young people... who brought about 300,000 members into the partisan army,” local media Studenti recalls.
"Today, April 25, Italy celebrates the 75th anniversary of the liberation from fascism. In Rome, people sing 'Bella ciao' on the balconies."
On April 25, 1945, the resistance called for a general insurrection against the German occupation and the far-right regime led by Benito Mussolini since 1922.
The founder of Italian Fascism based his dominance on the iron control of all forms of dissent and on the persecution of anarchists, socialists, and communists, whom he considered being promoters of class conflict and disobedience to authority.
"Mussolini attempted to escape to Switzerland by joining a German column. However, the guerrillas recognized him, captured him, and executed him in Dongo village on April 28," Studenti explains and recalls that his corpse was subsequently hung by the feet in Milan.