In Italy, June 2nd is the Festa della Repubblica. It is the day when, seventy years ago and by majority vote, Italy officially ceased to be a monarchy and became a republic. So it is essentially the birthday of the Italian republic as we know it today.
This day is celebrated throughout Italy as a long weekend, which is known as a ponte, or bridge. There are parades, events and activities throughout, although the biggest and most important parade is held in Rome.
The long weekend is an occasion for Italians to get away for a few days, either to the beach or to the countryside, for some relaxation and family time, much like Americans would do for Memorial Day or Fourth of July.
Between April and June there are 3 long holiday weekends celebrated in Italy: April 25 is Liberation Day (Festa della Liberazione), May 1 is Labor Day (Festa dei Lavoratori) and June 2.
These are important dates to keep in mind when traveling to Italy during these months, as many businesses are closed or function on a limited schedule. The silver lining, however, is that there are a lot of great events and special activities that are organized in honor of the specific holidays.
Always more reasons to plan a trip to Italy (as if you really needed them)! So what are you waiting for?