Italy became a nation on March 17, 1861, when most of the states of the region and the two Sicilies were united under king Victor Emmanuel II, hitherto king of Sardinia.
Italy was united as a single state after the overthrow of the Kingdom of Naples by amovement led by the revolutionary Giuseppe Garibaldi.
On February 18th 2011, The Italian government approved plans to mark the 150th anniversary of national unification with a public holiday, despite objections from Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's pro-devolution coalition allies.
To make up for the working day lost on March 17, armed forces day on November 4, which marks the end of World War I for Italy, will not be a holiday.
Defence minister Ignazio La Russa said that the national holiday "carries full civil effect" and will not "interfere with November 4th celebrations."