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Italy: Republic Day

The Festa della Repubblica commemorates the referendum held on 2 June 1946 in which the people of Italy were offered the choice of continuing with the monarchy of the House of Savoy or becoming a republic.

Although the monarchy was perceived by many Italians as discredited by its associations with Mussolini’s Fascists and in particular by its role in their rise to power, the result was close – 54% to 46% in favour of a republic. The monarchy was abolished, the House of Savoy were sent into exile and its male members were forbidden to return to Italy. That provision was lifted in 2002, but the last pretender to the Italian throne had to renounce his claim as part of the deal.

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