Do you want to live a unique experience? Go to Ivrea, area of Turin, during the Carnival and you will witness a spectacular event of "The Battle of the Oranges" during which the city features very colorful decoration that represents the different associations that organize the event.
With the Battle of the Oranges, the Ivrea community celebrates the rights they gained to decide for itself following the medieval story of the starving citizens that freed themselves from the tyranny of an evil baron when one of the young brides, Violetta, refused to respect the first night right and beheaded the baron in its own castle. This started a revolt that lead to destruction of the castle and installation of a free municipality.
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The Battle of the Oranges represents this event. The people part is represented by nine teams of orange throwers on foot that fight with the baron’s army represented by throwers installed in carts and wearing protective masks and padded clothing resembling the medieval armour.
Though there have been different versions to this fight animation, including throwing beans, after the World War II, the tradition of throwing oranges was installed. You are therefore able to experience over 4000 throwers on foot belonging to nine teams (Picche, Morte, Tuchini, Scacchi, Arduini, Pantere, Diavoli, Mercenari and Credendari) together with 50 horse-drawn carts that carry about 1000 armored throwers, making it about 5000 people involved.
The battle has an unwritten gentleman’s code that all participants follow to guarantee their safety. The duel between the throwers on foot and throwers in the carts often turns into a form of a one-on-one fight and throwing the strongest you can is actually a sign of respect towards your opponent, honoring the battle the best you can. They close the fight with a handshake to endorse their restored friendship.
The Battle of Oranges un-doubtfully represents the highlight of the whole carnival festivities in Ivrea. There are many more activities the organizers prepare for you not to be bored.
But if you don’t want to miss the battle, be sure you are in Ivrea on February 28th, 2017.
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