As the Italian people today celebrate the Festa della Repubblica, they commemorate the national vote held on 2 June 1946 in which they voted in a republican system of government against the Italian monarchy. This national holiday is something like our Independence Day, as best as I can tell.
They celebrate the day with huge military parades and the highlight of the parade - at least here in Rome - is the Frecce Tricolari, a flyover of military airplanes letting out a stream of green, white, and red smoke in honor of the three colors of the Italian flag.
All of this takes place just a few blocks away from where I live, which makes today a good day to stay inside the Casa. Huge crowds gather for the military parade because the Italians love a good parade even more than Americans.
Because I, too, love a good parade - but not massive crowds - I went up to the roof of the Casa Santa Maria to watch the Frecce Tricolori and to take a few pictures. First off, the close formation of the aircraft is impressive enough:
But the tri-colored streams left behind is pure fun:
I do not know what causes the colors in the smoke, but neither the colors nor the smoke last very long and quickly blend together to resemble an ordinary cloud, with a small arc (at least from the angle at which I was standing:
Just before I went back inside (the sun is beating down very hotly today), the planes came round again:
I'm glad they flew over a second time because they allowed me to get a great shot above the Pontifical Gregorian University:
As would be the case in the United States, many businesses are closed today and public transportation is running on a reduced scheduled as the Italians celebrate their national holiday.