The Battle of the Oranges, Ivrea, Italy
Italy stages its biggest food fight each February in the Piedmont town of Ivrea, where thousands gather each year before Lent to re-enact a medieval battle by hurling oranges at each other. By the end of it the entire town is awash with Vitamin C.
Orange fetishists are well advised to visit the northern Italian town of Ivrea, 35 kilometers from Turin, on the Sunday before Lent when the townsfolk stage their annual Battle of the Oranges, the country’s largest fruit fight.
It involves around 3,000 revellers on foot and in carts drawn by decorated horses and lasts for three days, after which everyone is covered in pulp and orange juice, and the streets are slippery with squashed orange peel.
The ceremony, part of the town’s historic carnival, marks the rebellion of the people against tyrannical lords who ruled the town in the Middle Ages. Each year a carnival mascot is chosen from the town’s school children to play “Violetta”, a beautiful girl who in medieval times refused the advances of a lord and came to represent the victory of freedom over tyranny.