Sardinia Day in Italy Date in the current year: April 28, 2024

Sardinia Day in Italy Sardinia Day (Sa die de sa Sardigna), also known as Sardinian People’s Day, is celebrated on the Italian island of Sardinia every April 28. It was established to commemorate the Sardinian Vespers, an uprising of the Sardinians against the House of Savoy.

Throughout its early history, the island of Sardinia was successively colonized by the Phoenicians, the Carthaginians, the Roman Empire, the Vandals, and the Byzantine Empire. In the Middle Ages, independent states known as the Judicates took power in Sardinia.

In the first half of the 14th century, Sardinia was conquered by the Crown of Aragon. After the union of the Crowns of Aragon and Castile, the island became part of the Spanish Empire. In 1708, Sardinia was captured by the Habsburg Monarchy during the War of the Spanish Succession. In 1720, following the War of the Quadruple Alliance, it was assigned to the House of Savoy.

The Duke of Savoy united Sardinia with Savoy, Piedmont and his other possessions on the Italian mainland to form the Kingdom of Sardinia, also known as Savoy-Sardinia or Piedmont-Sardinia. Its “golden age” was during the reign of Charles Emmanuel III, who introduced various reforms to reduce the influence of the feudal lords and clergy, but his son Victor Amadeus III dismantled his father’s achievements and ended up declaring war on Revolutionary France.

By this time, the discontent of the Sardinians with the House of Savoy had reached its peak. Peasants were tired of the feudal rule, whereas nobles and bourgeoisie resented having no real influence, since the key administrative and military positions on the island were occupied by officials from the mainland appointed by the king.

In 1793, the Sardinians successfully repelled a French fleet that attempted to conquer the island. They hoped that this victory would make the king acknowledge their grievances. They demanded, among other things, that most of offices be reserved for the locals and that Sardinian representatives be sent to the parliament on the mainland. However, Victor Amadeus III refused to grant the Sardinians any of their wishes, which resulted in a rebellion referred to as the Sardinian Vespers.

The rebellion lasted for three years between 1793 and 1796, but its most important event occurred on April 28, 1794. On this day, two lawyers were arrested in Cagliari and charged with sedition. In response, the locals captured all Piedmontese officials and soldiers, put them on a boat, and sent them back to the mainland.

The towns of Sassari and Alghero soon followed suit, and the uprising led by Giovanni Maria Angioy spread throughout the island. Its main goals were to end feudalism on the island and to declare Sardinia a republic. However, the royal forces eventually overpowered the rebels. The island remained under Savoyard rule and became part of the newly unified Italian kingdom in the mid-19th century.

In 1993, the government of the Autonomous Region of Sardinia declared April 28 the national holiday of Sardinia. Sardinia Day is marked by various festive events commemorating the uprising in Cagliari. Local schools are typically closed for the day.

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