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03:14

Italy: City of Ivrea celebrates carnival with annual 'Battle of the Oranges'

Italy, Ivrea
February 23, 2020 at 18:50 GMT +00:00 · Published

Thousands of carnival-goers pelted each other with oranges in the city of Ivrea in Piedmont on Sunday during the infamous "Battle of the Oranges."

Teams of "Aranceri" (Orange handlers) wage an orange war with teams of "Tiranni" (Tyrants), during an event reenacting a fight between the people of Ivrea and Napoleonic troops during the 12th century.

During the fight, the "Aranceri" throw oranges to represent the stones their ancestors threw at the palace to take back their city. The "Tiranni" fight back from higher ground, on a cart.

During the event, the city honours the story of the bride "Violetta", a miller's daughter, whom, on her wedding night, was taken by Duke Guido III. The duke had claimed his "droit du seigneur" (the right to spend a night with any newly-wed subordinate woman he chose to), and forced her into his castle. The story goes that Violetta chopped off his head during their private encounter and sparked the revolution that the "Battle of the Oranges" reenacts.

The battle reenactment was originally planned to continue into next week, however, the Coronavirus outbreak in the north of Italy has led to the forced cancellations of multiple public and cultural events. Ivrea's Battle of the Oranges is one of these, as authorities announced during Sunday's battle that it would be the last day of the event.

03:14
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Description

Thousands of carnival-goers pelted each other with oranges in the city of Ivrea in Piedmont on Sunday during the infamous "Battle of the Oranges."

Teams of "Aranceri" (Orange handlers) wage an orange war with teams of "Tiranni" (Tyrants), during an event reenacting a fight between the people of Ivrea and Napoleonic troops during the 12th century.

During the fight, the "Aranceri" throw oranges to represent the stones their ancestors threw at the palace to take back their city. The "Tiranni" fight back from higher ground, on a cart.

During the event, the city honours the story of the bride "Violetta", a miller's daughter, whom, on her wedding night, was taken by Duke Guido III. The duke had claimed his "droit du seigneur" (the right to spend a night with any newly-wed subordinate woman he chose to), and forced her into his castle. The story goes that Violetta chopped off his head during their private encounter and sparked the revolution that the "Battle of the Oranges" reenacts.

The battle reenactment was originally planned to continue into next week, however, the Coronavirus outbreak in the north of Italy has led to the forced cancellations of multiple public and cultural events. Ivrea's Battle of the Oranges is one of these, as authorities announced during Sunday's battle that it would be the last day of the event.

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