September 20th

On September 20th, 1870, the Italian troops burst into Rome, after a brief siege, from a breach in the Aurelian Walls opened between Porta Pia and Porta Salaria.
Rome was then joined Italy, of which on February 3
rd, 1871 it became the capital, and the temporal power of the Catholic Church, which had lasted for centuries, ended.
The pope took refuge within the
Vatican walls, in what a few decades later would become the state of the Vatican City.
The date of September 20
th is remembered by important streets and squares in all Italian cities and until the Lateran Treaty of 1929 it was a public holiday, the Liberation Day of the capital and national unification.
On September 20
th, 1970, the first centenary of the Porta Pia breach was solemnly commemorated, with an official ceremony and military bands, in particular that of the Bersaglieri, the military corps who in 1870 had been decisive for the conquest of Rome.

Today there is a tendency to commemorate this day in an attenuated way, and without emphasizing that if Italy has won it means that the absolutist state of the Church has lost.
In 2020, the 150
th anniversary was commemorated in a very modest way, maybe the Covid was to blame for it. But in 2005 and 2007 the bicentenaries of the birth of Giuseppe Mazzini and Giuseppe Garibaldi went almost unnoticed, yet they were two of the fathers of the homeland.
Perhaps their fault was that they were anticlerical.
For September 20
th: only free-thinking associations commemorate him with ceremonies in front of the monument built in the place where the breach was opened.
Better than nothing.

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Page created on: November 12th, 2022 and last updated: September 18th, 2023