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@upkacrane, @Italiangirl, @ItalianSceptic I just wanted to make sure you know who you have to vote for. Jokes aside, I'm trying to brace myself for the mummy returns, you-know-who I mean, the shadow premier wannabe, the unelectable one. The world has a more entertaining buffoon now, so he might need to upscale his boutades to make the news and to steal back Putin's heart. Pics are for non-Italian fjers, my fellow countrypeople might barf. And that is only if Northern League doesn't earn more votes, in that case...well I have recently proposed to @Curious to found an FJ colony on Mars, we would accept any and every refugee. We are working on the technicalities. I have no worries about M5S as they don't have the numbers to win. As for the left...well they have done everything in their power to avoid to win.
Today here it's a day of Festa Nazionale or as you say a bank holiday. That must be the reason my daughter felt the compelling need to wake me up at 6am . Anyway this year's Festa della Repubblica is particularly felt because it marks 70 years since we got rid of the Savoia, elected a committee to write our Constitution and Italian women finally perused their right to vote. With this voting sheet we closed forever a chapter of our history not many are proud of. It was bilingual to accommodate Südtiroler German speaking citizens. 70 years ago started the process that in 1948 gave us a new Constitution, a new government and a new National symbol: the Star of Italy, a symbol strictly linked to our Risorgimento, the olive branch symbol of peace, the oak branch symbol of the unity of Italian people and the gearwheel symbol of the work of the people that is the foundation of our State as explicated by the first article of the Constitution. Honestly I am not much of a patriot, for many reasons, but I think that that day of 70 years ago our people did something right. I am quite proud of the first part of our Constitution, that deals with the principles of our State. And I am proud that five women were very vocal members of the Constitutional Committee, their names: Maria Federici, Angela Gotelli, Nilde Jotti, Teresa Noce, Lina Merlin, are probably unknown internationally but are easily recognisable to Italian citizens because of some very important laws that were named after the women who proposed them and in particular Nilde Jotti was the first woman President of the Camera dei Deputati the third highest rank in our State, position currently held by Laura Boldrini. Sadly it's still the highest position ever held by women in our Establishment. Reading FJ made me research more about USA Constitution and history. Today I wanted to reciprocate the pleasure for whoever may be interested. Here is the original writing of Italian Constitution as was approved by the Constitutional Committee in 1947 translated in English. It's under spoiler because it's composed by screenshots. Changes have been made over time ie Military Service isn't compulsory anymore. But the parts I am proud of are still unaltered. This is only the first part of the document as you can see from the Table of Contents. The second part designs the structure, the power balance and the functions of the different parts of the State. It was crafted carefully doing everything to prevent the possibility of another dictatorship in the future. Unfortunately this requirement makes for an extremely bureaucratic State that in hindsight is the principal cause of the political mess and stagnation of the last 70 years. But that's another very very long story for another day.
For any of you interested in traveling vicariously I thought I would share some pics from our trip to Italy last month. It was absolutely splendid! I only missed eating gelato one day, but ate it twice on another day to make up for it. (Ice cream sandwich emoticon will have to do). We spent 4 nights in Rome. One of our days in Rome we took a day trip to Naples and Pompeii. That particular evening we were able to eat dinner at usual time for Italy. We tend to go to bed early and it was really hard for us to wait until 7 or 8 to eat dinner! We spent 3 nights in Florence and on our last full day we took an afternoon trip to see Pisa. We also stayed up late enough that night to finally get to try the restaurant directly across the street from our hotel. It was really hard to believe we were seeing all these amazing things. It's humbling to walk the same roads, and be in so many places where such important historical figures have been. I think that the oldest thing I have ever seen in the US has been the San Antonio Missions. I was moved beyond words when we visited the missions. Visiting all these breathtaking places in Italy had me moved to tears a few times. The Firenze Marathon was during our time in Florence. There were people from all over the world running the race and also cheering the runners waving their flags. This wasn't long after the Paris attacks, and there was a great show of French flags there. I really could write about this trip all day! If you would like more details about any of the pictures, just ask!