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Battle of Oranges at Italian carnival

16 Jan 2007

Italy is preparing to celebrate what is thought to be the most ancient carnival in the entire world.

Dating back to the end of the 12th century, Carnival Ivrea is actually one the lesser-known festivals in Italy, but it is certainly one of the most enjoyable.

The festival is held in the medieval town of Ivrea, close to Turin, and has held many traditions for hundreds of years.

Undoubtedly the highlight of the festival is the huge bonfire and the Battle of the Oranges.

The battle is symbolic of the rebellion of Ivrea against the Ranieri tyranny and is certainly not for the feint-hearted.

Visitors are advised to either give as good as they get and prepare for a battle or, to avoid becoming part of the orange squash, retreat to one of the specially designated safe areas in one of the squares.

The Carnival Ivrea is taking place between 17 February and 20 February.

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