June 2nd, Festa della Repubblica (Day of the Republic)
Today the second day of June is a bank holiday technically equivalent to the 4th of July for United States citizens, but not particularly celebrated by most Italians. In fact, besides having all business halt to a standstill, the most notable event in the day is a military parade in Roma – before the highest politicians and ending with a brief memorial service for the Unknown Soldier. If you are so inclined, the best way to watch it is not in person – as the parade route is incredibly crowded – but on television. One spectacular part of the parade, however, is the air show put on by the Frecce Tricolori (literally: ‘the three-colored arrows’), which is often considered the best acrobatic flight team in the world. Their breathtaking maneuvers include very low crisscrossing flights and end with an iconic three-colored smoke trail painting the national flag in the (usually blue) sky.