Battle of the OrangesThis is a three day event established in 1808, forming part of Ivrea's annual carnival and concluding on Shrove Tuesday each year. It involves 9 teams, 3000+ participants and nearly 400 tonnes of oranges which rival teams use to pelt each other with! Though strictly only the participants are involved, inevitably some of the oranges can get misfired and therefore be aware when watching the spectacle. To demonstrate that you are watching and not participating in the throwing, tradition suggests you should wear a Phrygian Cap!
The battle of the oranges is a modern-day reminder of the civil war that broke out between the people of Ivrea (who are represented by those throwing oranges on foot without protection) and the Royal Napoleonic Troops (represented by those throwing oranges from carts wearing protective masks). Before the orange-pelting begins, onlookers are given an opportunity to see the horse and carriages that form part of the parade. Each year local artists decorate the carriages with a variety of stunning images, scenes and colours.
Meanwhile, through the streets of the city sweets and presents are handed out to spectators, whilst the traditional procession passes Ivrea’s streets made up of floats, theatre and musical groups that come from across Italy and beyond.