San Marino Anniversary of the Arengo

San Marino Anniversary of the Arengo

March 25
The Republic of San Marino, a landlocked nation surrounded by Italy, is the smallest republic in the world. It is also the oldest existing state in Europe.
The Arengo was the first form of government in the Republic of San Marino. Under this form of government, all of the patriarchs assembled to decide on important matters dealing with public life in San Marino. This was workable while the population of San Marino was small. But as the population continued to grow, they needed a new means of governing the country.
In 1243, the first two Consuls, the Captains Regent, were elected to office for a period of six months. Every six months, new Captains Regent were appointed. From that point, the Arengo did not meet as an assembly of Patriarchs until March 25, 1906. By then, it was much different from its original form and purpose. The Arengo was still part of community life and met twice a year, in April and October. When new regents were elected, every patriarch could send petitions and requests of public interest to the Grand and General Council.
The Arengo still exists today. Twice a year, the citizens of San Marino can send requests of public interest to the Grand and General Council through their regents. Within one month the regents must decide whether the requests will be discussed in the Council.
March 25 in San Marino is a national holiday that commemorates the Arengo of 1906, which marked the birth of a Parliament elected directly by the people. On this day, all of the military corps appear in full-dress uniform in front of Palazzo Begni. A laurel wreath is placed on the monument to the Fallen, and the ceremony continues with a mass in the Basilica to thank the founder saint. All of the corps participate in a parade through the streets of the old town center.
CONTACTS:
Republic of San Marino State Office of Tourism
www.visitsanmarino.com
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