Wonder why there were jets flying over the centre this morning? Or why Piazza Venezia was closed to traffic?

National Unity and Armed Forces Day

On November 4th, Italy celebrates National Unity and Armed Forces Day – which commemorates the end of World War I on the Italian Front and soldiers lost in battle.  The day is also meant to pay respect to those actively serving in Italy’s armed forces around the world.

On November 3rd 1918, Italian and Austrian-Hungarian forces agreed to and signed an armstice agreement at Villa Giusti in Padova, Italy.  On November 4th, 1918 the ceasefire between Italian and Austrian-Hungarian forces took effect – ending the First World War on the Italian Front and contributing to the conclusion of the war shortly there after.

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The ceasefire was the result of the Battle of Vittorio Veneto in northern Italy where Italian forces defeated Austrian-Hungarian forces.  Some Italians see this victory as the cumination of the Risorgimento Nationalist Movement that unified the country in the 19th century.

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National Unity and Armed Forces Day at Altare della Patria in Rome

Each year, Rome commemorates National Unity and Armed Forces Day with a ceremony at Altare della Patria. During the ceremony more than 1000 service members participate in the military parade.

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The ceremony also features the President of Italy placing a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

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There is a fly-over by the Italian Air Force’s aerial acrobatics team Frecce Tricolori.

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