Orange Battle

Orange Battle, Ivrea

Orange Battle
4.5
About
This is one of Italy’s most unusual festivals. Held during carnival in mid-winter, the entire town of Ivrea near Turin turns into a battlefield where oranges are thrown in the streets, reenacting a legendary battle for freedom from oppression. There are nine 'teams' representing the different neighbourhoods of the town that participate in the battle. To avoid being pelted by citrus, make sure you find a spot behind one of the large nets that are set up all over town.
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KAimino
Newark, NY130 contributions
the orange battle represents the liberation of the city. they really get into it. Its messy but fun.
Aug 2019
They pull wagons with beautiful horses thru town and throw oranges at people in the streets...like a marti gras in new orleans. Its history in the town. The guys get all wild and crazy and have a wild weekend.
Written 3 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

vince M
London, UK3 contributions
great spectacle!!!
Feb 2018 • Family
must see ,it is as good as it can be fantastic atmosphere........
dont wear any nice clothes there since you are VERY likely to get at least one orange if not more splattered on you from a great distance!
Written 4 November 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Claudio_Ivrea
Ivrea, Italy54 contributions
A true spectacle you can't miss
Feb 2018 • Friends
See thousand of people fighting between on the ground teams and chariots in the city squares is an incredible spectacle you should see live at least once, have you ever seen 300+ tons of oranges thrown every battle day. It provides a different emotion. By the way, you might also be active part of it registering in one of the 9 ground team (most have their site to read and ask for info). Consider that the battle last 3 days + additional days of other Historical Carnival events/parties.
Written 19 March 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

John M
Santa Cruz, CA4,359 contributions
Think: Running of the Bulls while dodging 600,000 pounds of flying fruit!
Feb 2017 • Friends
The celebration itself stems from an evil duke in the 1200's who violated a popular local maiden on the eve of her wedding, which triggered a riot and permanent change in the way that the people are treated. The red stocking caps are supposed to officially designate you as a spectator and not a target for attack, but it is more important as an expression of solidarity for the common people. The morning starts with a distribution of free food and wine to any local person who asks for it, with the premise being the sharing of abundance. It might seem that wasting 600,000 pounds of oranges is a shame, but this is the marginal (at best) extra production that serves no other purpose. The original protest in the 1200's, before gunpowder, involved throwing rocks, and later apples grown in the north, but people could be hurt or killed with those projectiles today, and so they switched to oranges. Now, I am here to tell you that a point blank hit in the head with an orange does hurt, but I saw only black and blue bruises among the thousands of participants, and the Red Cross stood by with semi-truck medical teams, just in case.

At one of my homes in the politically correct People's Republic of Santa Cruz, California, the very thought of violence against another human being would trigger a revolt of it's own, and so people who snap and need an outlet for their various personal situations shoot one another with guns. Consider Ivrea, where young bucks (or girls) with a chip on their shoulders have an annual outlet for the tension in their lives where no one is seriously hurt, honor and valor is judged and awarded, and the day ends with all of the combatants hugging, singing, eating and drinking together as friends. It really was a beautiful thing to see. My friends from Como are from Ivrea, and they tried to explain it in advance, but you really have to see it to understand.

Just like the famous Palio of Sienna, the neighborhoods each organize their own teams, with beautiful costumes and neighborhood decorations. Each team has a horse drawn battle unit that visits every other area, and each neighborhood has a local defense squad against the other arriving teams. Judges rate the performance of the various factions, and the awards are are a great honor for the neighborhood who wins. The horses are specially trained to be calm when inevitably hit by the errant orange, and the slippery orange pulp up to half a foot deep on top of slick cobblestone streets is another challenge for the animals, as they pull the heavy wagons through the town.

I am thankful to have been invited to see this magnificent event, which has almost no outside tourists at all. It is one of the most interesting and beautiful interactions between people that I have ever witnessed, which is a big part of why I travel.

Sorry about Trip Advisor changing the order of my photos, which were meant to tell a story.
Written 19 June 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

rcaldin
Los Angeles, CA728 contributions
Unbelievable fun
Feb 2017 • Friends
I heard about this and decided to visit northern italy in february so i could do this. My wife thought i was crazy and watched.

I had so much fun despite a few but not too many bruises. Tins of people and well behaved.

Great town to ecplore while you are there.

There are 9 official teams and you need to join one to join in the fight. Cost is about $150 usd to participate and get a uniform. I was with aranciamorte. Marco was great about the process. Sign ups are in january.

The battle lasted about 3 hours and you are tired. I cant tell you how much fun it was...i will be coming back with my adukt kids. My wife had as much fun watching people get hit with oranges.

Saw sevrral kids around 10 years old having fun. They didnt get up on the carts but participated from a distance.

People who get there before 9am dont have to pay. Red hats are $5 and sold everywhere if you want to get closer to the action, at some risk.

If you have any thoughts about going...GO!
Written 1 March 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Ulisse
Padenghe sul Garda, Italy161 contributions
Unbelieveble
Feb 2016 • Family
Hellò! If you like enjoy without being a boring over-pius people complaing for wasting food and the hunger in the world, well if you are such a dull man/woman please stay home. If you are not, come to the great historical carnival of Ivrea the day before, sleep in the town and the day after live one of the most enjoing experience. Pay attention to thiefs inside people.
Written 20 March 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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