Italy’s National Holiday

Today is Italy’s National Holiday (Festa della Repubblica) and, as every year, there was a big parade here in Rome this morning, with various units of Italy’s extensive military and police forces marching, among others. The President of the Republic was there and it was a big show.

Two interesting details from this parade, some of which I watched via the internet.

The first is these women, who look like nuns, but aren’t:

Nurses. Not nuns.

Nurses. Not nuns.

They are called, popularly, the Crocerossine (maybe we could translate that as “Red Cross Gals”…). They are members of the Corps of Volunteer Nurses of the Italian Red Cross, which provides healthcare services and humanitarian aid in war and disaster zones.

I think all nurses should dress that way.

Next, we have a very beloved thing here in Italy, the “tricolor arrows”, as they call them (frecce tricolore). It is the flyover of jets that happens on various state occasions, with contrails in the “tricolors” of the Italian flag – red, white, and green:

This was after they circled back around, so the colors were starting to run out I think.

This was after they circled back around, so the colors were starting to run out I think.

They fly directly over the parade route, which is in the center of Rome between the Colosseum and the Victor Emmanuel Monument, then towards the presidential palace, then circle back around. I took this photo from the Spanish Steps, as they flew back in towards the parade route.

Being the biggest national holiday, many shops and churches were closed, even places that are normally open on holidays. Although in certain parts of town there were a lot of people out, in other parts it was relatively quiet. Life returns to “Roman normal” tomorrow.

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