ABOVE: Italian flags in Venice, Italy.
On Thursday, March 17, 2011, Italy celebrates 150 years of nationhood with Unification Day, which commemorates the merging of states throughout the Italian peninsula into a single country on March 17, 1861. (See Wikipedia's article on Italian unification).
In Venice, where we're writing this, householders and apartment-dwellers began hanging out italian flags before the weekend. You can see an example in the photo above.