airport_transferbarbathtubbusiness_facilitieschild_activitieschildcareconnecting_roomcribsfree_wifigymhot_tubinternetkitchennon_smokingpetpoolresturantski_in_outski_shuttleski_storagesmoking_areaspastar
Sign In
Photo by Stefano Guidi/ZUMA Wire/REX/Shutterstock
Photo by Stefano Guidi/ZUMA Wire/REX/Shutterstock
Save to wishlist

The Battle of the Oranges: Italy's Biggest Food Fight

Picture of Andrew Webb
Food & Drink Editor
Updated: 28 February 2017

Every February, the citizens of the Northern Italian city of Ivrea gather to pelt each other with fruit in what is known as the Battle of the Oranges.


Like all good traditions, the original story at the heart of this unusual food fight is lost to the mists of time. Legend has it that it started as a rebellion against a cruel tyrant who made some unwanted advances on a local miller’s daughter on her wedding night.

During the battle, teams of knights in carts pulled by horses represent the tyrant’s troops, who engage in battle with the citizens on foot. Originally, the oranges would have been stones, and strangely, oranges don’t grow in this northern region of Italy, so they have to be imported from Sicily. Here’s a selection of images from this year’s battle.

Photo by Stefano Guidi/ZUMA Wire/REX/Shutterstock

© Stefano Guidi/ZUMA Wire/REX/Shutterstock

Photo by Alessandro Bosio/Pacific Pre/REX/Shutterstock

© Alessandro Bosio/Pacific Pre/REX/Shutterstock

© Paolo Bona / Shutterstock

© Paolo Bona / Shutterstock

© Stefano Guidi / Shutterstock

© Stefano Guidi / Shutterstock

A carriage pulled by four horses that will be used in the battle

A carriage pulled by four horses that will be used in the battle | Wikicommons