A unique event recognised as an Italian occasion of international importance, a “vision” that occurs every year, bringing history, legend, traditions, entertainment, excitement and great ideals to the streets and squares of the city.
The spirit of the Historic Carnival comes from ancient rituals and lives on in the memory of a legendary medieval episode of liberation from tyranny: the “baron”, who already let the townspeople go hungry, was killed by the daughter of a miller because she refused to submit to jus primæ noctis, which led to a popular uprising.
The heroine of the festival is therefore the Mugnaia (miller’s daughter) alongside the figure of the General who, since the early years of the 19th century, has the task of ensuring the smooth running of the event together with this Napoleonic General Staff consisting of talented Officers on horseback and the graceful Sutlers.
Filling the city with colours and fragrance is the famous and spectacular Battle of Oranges, a captivating and exciting moment that re-enacts the rebellion: the people i.e. the Aranceri (orange throwers) on foot and without any protection, fought with oranges against the armies of the feudal lord, who are represented by throwers on horse-drawn wagons, with shields and masks that recall the ancient armour.
As a sign of participating in the festival, from Thursday before Lent, citizens and tourist take to the streets wearing the berretto frigio, a red cap shaped like a sock which represents adherence to the revolt and thus the aspiration for freedom.
For more information, contact our Ivrea Tourist Office