Today is Republic Day in Italy
Folk in Italy have the day off work today, to celebrate their country's national day, the Festival of the Republic, or Festa della Repubblica.
On this day, back in 1946, Italy held a referendum to determine its form of government (monarchy or republic) to follow the end of World War II and the fall of Fascism. The country voted out the king (who had supported Mussolini during the war) and became a republic, and male members of the royal House of Savoy were sent into exile.
We will be marking the day quietly, with a fine and meditative Italian cocktail, the Negroni. It dates back to long before the country became a republic, and an aristocrat named Camillo Negroni, who it is said, wanted an Americano with "a bit more kick". Gin adds oomph to the consummately Italian pairing of Italian red bitter liqueur and sweet vermouth. Build in the glass, and savour.
Today is the anniversary of the Queen's Coronation
Queen Elizabeth II was crowned this day in 1953 - although she ascended the throne a year earlier.
Confusing? Just a touch. The Queen's father died on 6th February 1952, but it took a while to get the coronation organised. Over 8,000 guests had to find room in their calendars and, as February was no time for a coronation, the event needed to be held in summer - hence the delay. In those royalist days, more than 3 million people turned out to line the streets of London, while the ceremony itself was broadcast in over 40 languages, reaching a global audience of a whopping 40 million.
We will be toasting Her Majesty with a Royal Mojito or two, and as much sunshine as we can find.