Civic Celebrations

Civic Celebrations

National Civic Celebrations. There are primarily two national celebrations for Italians in Los Angeles, one Italian American, Columbus Day (October 12), and the other Italian, Festa della Repubblica or 'Day of the Republic' (June 2).

Christopher Columbus

Columbus Day remains the most important institutionalized Italian American celebration, although there have been signs of erosion in the past decades as the figure of Columbus has become increasingly problematic, especially to Native Americans (and others). Columbus remains an important symbol to organizations such as the Federated Italo-Americans (including: Unico, NIAF, Order of the Sons of Italy in America). Columbus Day is viewed as an opportunity to publicly focus on the positive contributions Italians have made to American society.

Portrait of Columbus

Columbian Award. The Federated Italo-Americans bestow an annual "Columbian Award" for a Man/Woman of the year. Nominees "must have been born in America, of Italian extraction, recognized for his/her achievements in the business world and given luster to Italy and to the Italo-American community. The second nominee must have served honorably, on behalf of our community and promoted goodwill, through his/her efforts." (

Of related interest: Who was Columbus? For an overview of the history and positive perspective on Columbus Day, see Order of the Sons of Italy in America: "Columbus: Fact vs. Fiction"

Repertorium Columbianum. The UCLA Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies has just completed a 13-volume collection of international materials related to Columbus and his voyages of discovery, with English translations: Repertorium Columbianum, under the general editorship of UCLA professor of History, Geoffrey Symcox. "The Repertorium Columbianum is a collection of contemporary sources relating to Columbus's four voyages and the interpenetration of the hitherto separate worlds that resulted from them." Repertorium Colombianum website at

Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies
302 Royce Hall Box 951485
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1485.

National Italian Festa della Repubblica

La Festa della Repubblica commemorates June 2,1946, the day a national referendum in Italy was held to choose between a monarchy and a republic. Italians chose the latter. As a national holiday it became the symbol of the new state. In Italy, the President of the Republic and the Ministry of Defense preside over ceremonies. Abroad, it is Consuls and Ambassadors who organize appropriate celebrations (frequently gala receptions, by invitation only) for Italians and the Italian American leadership in their jurisdictions.

The Republic Man/Woman of the Year Award. The local community, under the Federated Italo-Americans of Southern California, also celebrates the founding of the Italian Republic by honoring "the Italian born among us who have lent their lives to give luster to Italy and the Italo-American community," with The Republic Man/Woman of the Year Award. "The first nominee must be Italian born and recognized for his /her achievements in the business world at large. The second nominee, through his or her efforts, must have served, contributed and promoted goodwill to the Italo-American community." (

Of related interest: The Italian national anthem:

Fratelli d'Italia (Canto degli Italiani, or lÝInno di Mameli
Text by Goffredo Mameli, music by Michele Novaro

Fratelli d'Italia, l'Italia s'╦ desta;
dell'elmo di Scipio s'╦ cinta la testa.
Dov'╦ la vittoria? Le porga la chioma
ch╚ schiava di Roma Iddio la cre┌.

Stringiamci a coorte!
Siam pronti alla morte;
Italia chiam┌.

Noi fummo da secoli calpesti, derisi
perch╚ non siam popolo, perch╚ siam divisi.
Raccolgaci un'unica bandiera, una speme:
di fonderci insieme giç l'ora suon┌.

Stringiamci a coorte!
Siam pronti alla morte;
Italia chiam┌.

Uniamoci, amiamoci; l'unione e l'amore
rivelano ai popoli le vie del Signore.
Giuriamo far libero il suolo natio
uniti, per Dio, chi vincer ci pu┌?

Stringiamci a coorte!
Siam pronti alla morte;
Italia chiam┌

Dall'Alpe a Sicilia dovunque ╦ Legnano;
ogn'uom di Ferruccio ha il core e la mano;
I bimbi d'Italia si chiaman Balilla;
il suon d'ogni squilla i Vespri suon┌.

Stringiamci a coorte!
Siam pronti alla morte;
Italia chiam┌.

Son giunchi che piegano le spade vendute;
giç l'aquila d'Austria le penne ha perdute.
Il sangue d'Italia e il sangue Polacco
bev╦ col Cosacco, ma il cor le bruci┌.

Stringiamci a coorte!
Siam pronti alla morte;
Italia chiam┌.

Listen to the anthem: