This year for Liberation Day the Venetian section of ANPI invited me to photograph the celebrations in Piazza San Marco from within the VIP area.
April 25th is Liberation Day in Italy, celebrating the end of the fascist regime in Italy, and the end of Nazi occupation of northern Italy.
ANPI (Associazione Nazione Partigiani d’Italiani) is the main association representing the underground freedom fighters as they came down from the mountains after the war. It has persisted as a powerful anti-fascist voice in an Italy, where even government ministers publicly fail to keep a proper distance from Italy’s dark past.
The Resistance Fighters
There are few resistance fighters still alive. To have fought in the WWII even as a teenager, a person would be over 90 now. From Venice city there are at least six resistance fighters alive, of which five participated in the celebrations.
The five are:
- Alberto Durante “Falce”,
- Bruno “Venezia” Stocchetto,
- Gabriele “Bocia” Poci,
- Giordano Gamacchio “Bianco” e
- Guido Mion Patriota.
The Ceremony at St. Mark’s
The main celebration in Venice is in St. Mark’s Square in Venice. The Italian armed forces and local representatives of the public administration participate, together with all the different groups representing the combatants of the Italian anti-fascist resistance.
ANPI celebration in Castello
A separate event was held later in the day in the Sestiere Castello, where there are several monuments to the fallen resistance fighters, including one which was blown up later by fascists.