Ivrea: The Carnival of the Oranges
Famous in all of Italy and, above all abroad is the Carnival in the Piedmontese town of Ivrea (Province of Turin). Established in 1808, the Carnival of Ivrea is one of the oldest and most particular festivals in the world.
The Carnival’s protagonists include personalities like the Mugnaia (miller’s daughter) the heroine of the display with the “General” at her side – since 1800 it has been their duty to guarantee the correct proceedings of the event.
Also participating are the customary Napoleonic General Staff, composed of mounted officers and Vivandieres. Completing the array of historic personalities and traditions are the Assistant Grand Chancellor, the Magnifico Podestà (or garantor of the city’s freedom), and the Parade of Parish Flags. During the Carnival, the historical reenactment of the people’s rebellion against tyranny takes place: an insurrection that culminates in the spectacular parade of the historic court and the thrilling Battle of the Oranges, it fills the city with fantastic colors and perfumes, and brings everyone into the act!
It is the Battle of the Oranges that reevokes the civil war that broke out between the people of Ivrea and the Royal Napoleonic Troops the day after the murder of hated tyrant Raineri di Biandrate (it was the Mugnaia who slayed him!).
The battle is made up of squads of aranceri or orange throwers on foot (representing the people) and defending their piazzas from those throwing the oranges (that represent arrows) from carts (representing the Napoleonic troops). Meanwhile, through the streets of the city the Mugnaia and her cortège distribute sweets and presents to spectators. Then, the traditional procession through Ivrea’s streets includes floats, folkloristic and musical groups that come from all of Italy and all of Europe.
Ivrea is the beating heart of the Canavese zone, a delightful corner of Piedmont that envelops an infinity of natural, historic and artistic treasures – think castles, towers and centuries-old churches!
How to Get There
FS: Torino P.N. - Chivasso - Ivrea - Aosta Line
Turin Caselle, 25 mi
Milan Linate, 93 mi
Milan Malpensa, 77.7 mi
Bus services regularly connect Ivrea and the Canavese zone to Turin, Aosta and Milan
Sadem: Tel: 011 3000 611;
Satti: Toll-free: 800 - 217.216