The Carnival of Ivrea and the Battle of the Oranges

The Carnival of Ivrea and

the Battle of the Oranges

The historic Carnival of Ivrea is a one of a kind event that attracts many tourists every year. It is a great celebration, during which the community of Ivrea celebrates its capacity for self-determination, recalling an episode of liberation from tyranny that goes back to the Middle Ages.  The legend says that a baron who starved the city in the XIII century was driven away thanks to the rebellion of the daughter of a miller (Violetta), betrothed to Toniotto, who refused to submit to the jus primae noctis imposed by the tyrant to all brides. She climbed the castle and beheaded the Baron which lit the popular uprising; that ended with the destruction of the building.  The building was never rebuilt with the establishment of the free city. The Battle of the Oranges recalls this rebellion: the people, represented by nine teams of orange throwers on foot, fought with oranges against the armies of the feudal lord, represented by shooters on horse-drawn carriages, wearing caps and masks reminiscent of ancient armor. Their weapons are oranges.

In the battle, which now takes place on February 7, more than 4000 shooters on foot are divided into nine teams and more than 50 horse-drawn carriages (with 10 or 12 shooters on board) for a total of about 5000 people involved.