2 June is a public holiday in Italy to celebrate the Festa della Repubblica. The day commemorates the June referendum in 1946 when Italians voted to exile the monarchy, which was much discredited during world war two, in favour of a republican form of government.

This year parts of Via dei Fori Imperiale will be closed to the public on the night of Thursday 29 May for the preparation of the stands for the military parade on Monday 2 June. On Friday night it will be close for the general rehearsal. See www.atacroma.it for bus diversions.

On Sunday 1 June there will be a special changing of the guard at 15.30 outside the Quirinale Palace, official residence of the president of the republic.

On Monday2 June the president of the republic, Giorgio Napolitano, will first lay a wreath on the grave of the Unknown Soldier on the Altare della Patria in Piazza Venezia. He will then preside over the parade along Via dei Fori Imperiale at 10.00. In the afternoon from 15.00-19.00 the gardens of the Quirinale are open to the public to the music of several military bands.