Il Tricolore (= The Tricolor)

Il Tricolore, The Italian flag, was born at Reggio Emilia on 7 gennaio 1797, when the Cispadane Republic created its first version, following Napoleon’s successful campaign in Italy and inspired by the French flag, created in 1790. Il Tricolore has been in use in its current form since the formation of the Republic in 1946. The 3 colours representing the countryside (green), the mountains (white) and the blood spilt during the unification of Italy (red). Another interpretation claims that the green represents hope, the white represents faith and the red represents charity.

   Fratelli d’Italia (= The Italian national anthem)

The Italian national anthem is called “Il Canto degli Italiani” (= The Song of the Italians). It is also called “Fratelli d’Italia” (= Brothers of Italy), taken from the first line of the lyrics. The words were written by a young Genovese student called Goffredo Mameli in 1847 and set to music a few months later by Michele Novaro. The hymn became very popular during the Risorgimento and, after the formation of the Italian Republic in 1946, “’Il Canto degli Italiani” was chosen as the national anthem of the new Republic.


The emblem of the Italian Republic is characterised by the “Star of Italy“, the steel gear wheel and the branches of olive and oak. The “Star of Italy” is the most ancient identity symbol of the Italian land. The olive branch symbolises the desire for peace. The oak branch embodies the strength and dignity of the Italian people. The steel gear wheel is a symbol of work and translates the first article of the Constitution: “Italy is a democratic republic founded on work.”

   Lo Stendardo Presidentiale (= the Presidential flag)

The Italian presidential flag is the hallmark of the presence of the Head of State and therefore follows the President of the Republic in all his travels. Is raised on cars, ships and airplanes that have on board the President, outside the Prefectures (when the head of state visiting a city) inside the hotel where he works officially, etc. The presidential emblem’s square shape and edging of blue symbolise the Armed Forces, of which the President of the Republic is the Head.

   Il Vittoriano

The “Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II” (= National Monument to Victor Emmanuel II) or “Altare della Patria” (= Altar of the Fatherland) or “Il Vittoriano” is a monument built to honour Victor Emmanuel II, the first king of a unified Italy, located in Rome. The monument was designed by Giuseppe Sacconi in 1885, it was inaugurated in 1911 and completed in 1935. Il Vittoriano holds the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier with an eternal flame, built after the World War I.

Il Vittoriano is built of white marble of Brescia and features stairways, Corinthian columns, fountains, an equestrian sculpture of Victor Emmanuel II and two statues of the goddess Victoria. The structure is 135 m wide and 70 m high and houses the museum of Italian Reunification.

In 2007, a panoramic elevator was added to the structure, allowing visitors to ride up to the roof, for 360 degree views of Rome.

   Festa della Repubblica Italiana (= Italian Republic Day)

The Italian Republic Day reruns the 2 June. On this day we remember the institutional referendum held on 2 and 3 June 1946, with which the Italians were called to the polls in order to state what form of government they prefer: monarchy or republic. After 85 years of reign, with 12.717.923 ballots against 10.719.284, Italy became a republic.

   La Coccarda

The tricolor cockade was born before the Italian flag and was the basis in the process of origin of the tricolor flag. The tricolor cockade is the Italian tricolor folded ribbon and it is important to remember that the Italian cockade, by convention, has the green in the center and the red in the outside edge. The rosette is used as an optical badge on military vehicles, especially on airplanes and helicopters and also it is use to be on the hats of military persons and diplomats. It is also used as prizes in competitions: it consists of a rosette of folded ribbon, often at the center with a large button with the name of the event or award. At the end there may be two or more strips of tape that descend from the rosette, attached to its rear.

   L’azzurro (= sky-blue color)

The sky-blue is the Italian national color. Its origins go back to 1366, when Amedeo VI di Savoia, detto il Conte Verde, leaving for the crusade of Gallipoli, wanted that on its flagship, next to the Savoia’s flag, a light blue color (sky-blue) flag waved in honour to Maria, the mother of Jesus Christ.

All the above is for information only.

Italian Tutorial, 2012. All rights reserved.


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