Navy Day in Italy Date in the current year: June 10, 2024

Navy Day in Italy Italian Navy Day (Festa della Marina) is observed annually on June 10. Unlike in many countries where Navy Day commemorates the anniversary of the foundation of the Navy, Italian Navy Day is dedicated to one of the most significant victories of the Royal Navy during World War I.

The Royal Navy (Regia Marina) was founded in 1861, shortly after the unification of independent Italian states into the Kingdom of Italy as a result of the Risorgimento movement. Originally, Navy Day in Italy was celebrated on December 4 because it is the feast day of Saint Barbara who is considered the patron saint of the country’s naval forces.

In 1939, the branches of the Italian Armed forces were given the opportunity to choose a new day for their holiday should they wish so. The Royal Navy chose June 10 because on this day in 1918, the Regia Marina sank SMS Szent István, a dreadnought of the Austro-Hungarian Navy. The commander of the planned attack on Italy had to cancel the attack and ordered the Austro-Hungarian ships to return to Pola.

Over the years, the celebration of Royal Navy Day became less pompous and was eventually discontinued after the end of World War II and the renaming of the Royal Navy to the Italian Navy (Marina Militare) due to the abolition of monarchy. The holiday was revived in 1950 and moved to its original date, December 4. However, in 1963 the Minister of Defense changed the date to June 10. Although Navy Day isn’t a public holiday, it is an important day for the Italian Navy.

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