At Italy On This Day you will read about events and festivals, about important moments in history, and about the people who have made Italy the country it is today, and where they came from. Italy is a country rich in art and music, fashion and design, food and wine, sporting achievement and political diversity. Italy On This Day provides fascinating insights to help you enjoy it all the more.

1 April 2019

1 April

April Fools' Day - Italian style


What lies behind the tradition of Pesce d'Aprile

Playing practical jokes on April 1 is a tradition in Italy in the same way as many other countries, although in Italy the day is called Pesce d’Aprile – April’s Fish – rather than April Fools’ Day. It is said to have became popular in Italy between 1860 and 1880, especially in Genoa, where families in the wealthier social circles embraced the idea, already popular in France, of marking the day by playing tricks on one another. The most simple trick involves sticking a cut-out picture of a fish on the back of an unsuspecting ‘victim’ and watching how long it takes for him or her to discover he had been pranked but over the years there have been many much more elaborate tricks played. Often these have involved spoof announcements or false stories in the newspapers or on TV or radio shows. Read more...

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Arrigo Sacchi -- football coach


AC Milan manager's tactics revolutionised football in Italy

Arrigo Sacchi, the football coach who led AC Milan to back-to-back European Cups and steered Italy to a World Cup final, was born on this day 70 years ago in Fusignano, a small town not far from Ravenna in Emilia-Romagna. Unusually among top coaches, Sacchi never played football as a professional.  Aware of his limited ability, he quickly decided he would concentrate instead on becoming a manager, taking charge of a local amateur team, Baracca Lugo, when he was just 26.  Literally, he worked his way up from the bottom, making a living as a shoe salesman while training his players in his spare time. Yet step by step he ascended to the very top of the game. Read more…

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Alberto Zaccheroni - football coach


First Italian coach to lead a foreign nation to success

The football coach Alberto Zaccheroni, who won the Serie A title with AC Milan and steered the Japan national team to success in the Asia Cup, was born on this day in 1953 in Meldola, a town in Emilia-Romagna. In a long coaching career, Zaccheroni has taken charge of 13 teams in Italy, a club side in China and two international teams, Japan and the United Arab Emirates. The chance arose to take charge of the Japan national team in 2011. Despite language problems, he led the Japan to the Asia Cup in his first season in charge, the first Italian coach to be successful with an international team other than Italy. Subsequently, Zaccheroni’s Japan won the East Asia Cup in 2013 and qualified for the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil. Before to winning the Scudetto with Milan in 1999, he had twice won Italian domestic titles at Serie D (fourth tier) level and twice in Serie C. Read more…

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