25 April is probably the most important day of the year for many Australians. On ANZAC Day we reflect on the sacrifices of those who have served to enable us the freedoms we enjoy today. The date is also an important one in Italy, when they celebrate Il Giorno della Liberazione, or Liberation Day.
In Italy, 25 April is the anniversary of the Liberation and a public holiday is held to commemorate the end of the Nazi occupation of Italy in 1945 as well as the end to 20 years of Fascism. After two years of fighting and thousands of deaths, in April 1945 the Italian Resistance successfully liberated several Italian cities. Over the course of four days, Bologna, Parma and Reggio-Emilia, and, on 25 April - the final day of uprising - Milan and Torino. The Liberation opened the process which led to a national referendum the following year for the country to determine whether to be either a monarchy or a republic.
If you visit Italy in this period of the year, there will be many events throughout the country, such as parades and flag-raising ceremonies. Local towns and cities often have activities based around the day, such as cultural and artistic performances, concerts and conferences.
And being Italy, as well as official celebrations, there is much time spent with family and friends enjoying traditional food and some good drinks.
You are also bound to hear Bella Ciao: a well-known patriotic song throughout Italy which is sung in memory of those partisans who died for the freedom of their homeland. Bella Ciao means 'beautiful goodbye', and was the anthem of the Italian resistance movement during World War II, often sung by the anti-Fascist rebels who fought against the atrocities of the Nazis and the Fascist leader of Italy, Benito Mussolini.
So every 25 April, on opposite sides of the planet, people of two nations contemplate the actions of their forebears and thank them for their service. It's another common link between Australian and Italians.