Happy 150th anniversary, Italy! Italy is celebrating its unification on March 17 with a one-off national holiday, Festa dell’Unità. Along with all schools, offices and businesses closed for the national celebration, Rome, Turin, Milan, Florence, Naples and Cosenza will get a jump start on the festivities with a notte tricolore beginning March 16. Notte Tricolore pops the patriotic champagne with free museum and archaeological site entries, picturesque and performances concerts in the capital’s favorite piazzas and opened doors throughout the entire evening and through March 17.
All-Day Party: feast yourself on this smörgåsbord of free cultural events and sites. Enjoy morning coffee at Castel Sant’Angelo‘s rooftop cafe, peruse the newly renovated and restored Palazzo Barberini, and take in a concert at the Campidoglio. As the party approaches, the anniversary has proven anything but unity. The recent Berlusconi scandals, economic depression, education issues and ever-present regional identity battles have heightened the lack of unified Italianism that the 1861 unification proposed. According to Reuters.com, the “150th birthday party has shone a magnifying glass more on what divides the country than what unites it.”