Battle of The Oranges 2020 (Battaglia delle Arance)

Orange Battle

Ciao! Welcome to the romantic country of  Italy with its wealth of delightful food, superb wine, and grandeur of architecture from which you simply can’t take your eyes off. There are at least one hundred reasons, why one should visit Italy. One of these reasons is its outstanding festivals. You’ve probably heard about Carnevale di Venezia, but have you ever heard about the Carnival of  Ivrea, famous for the Battle of the Oranges? You should definitely add it to your bucket list. The 2020 Battle of the Oranges edition will be held from February the 22nd to 25th, traditionally taking place on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday before Ash Wednesday.

ORANGE WAR OR THE WAY TO GET LADY’S ATTENTION

The Battle of the Oranges is a spectacular food war that attracts travelers from all over the world. The origin of this festival is still unclear. According to the popular legend, back to the Medieval times, Ivrea’s lord tried to rape the miller’s daughter, Violetta, on the eve of her wedding, supposedly exercising his droit du seigneur (right of the lord). The tyrant’s plan failed when the young rebellious woman instead beheaded him and townspeople attacked and burned the palace. Nowadays, every year, a young girl is chosen to play the part of Violetta, the defiant young lady. The battles are fought between nine teams of orange-throwers on foot( symbolizing rebellious people) and throwers on horse-drawn carts wearing protective clothing (symbolizing local guards of the tyrant).

However, there is another explanation of throwing-oranges festival. Some people say that the origin of this tradition is in the mid 19th century. Local girls, standing on balconies, started to throw some oranges at the parade carriages, together with confetti and flowers, in order to draw the attention of boys in the carriages. Boys started throwing some objects back at girls, and that is the other theory of how this little battle began.

RED CAP OR ORANGE SQUAD?

Some people don’t relish the idea of getting struck by a flying orange. But if you are crazy enough, really want to soak in the culture and traditions of the city and have a desire to take a part in the orange-throwing battle, you can volunteer to join one of the nine teams on foot. If you don’t want to be the target of orange throwers and at the same time you want to show your full participation,  wear the Berretto Frigio (a red cap) and you’ll be seen as a spectator and not a target. Although a red cap can’t guarantee you won’t get hit by orange, so dress accordingly. Wear non-slip shoes and clothing you don’t mind getting dirty.

Orange Battle

MUST-SEE AND MUST-TRY  IN IVREA

Besides throwing oranges and watching the food battle, there is myriad of other things to do and see in Ivrea. Ivrea is a charming, picturesque, medieval little town. Start your sightseeing from Piazza Castello and Castle of Ivrea, then go to Bishop’s Palace and Ivrea Cathedral, which are superb examples of Medieval architecture. Check out one of Ivrea’s several museums, for instance, Civic Museum of Ivrea. It is definitely worth spending time on it. Besides, if you are born with a sweet tooth, you should definitely visit creative chocolate shop Nella Chocolate. You can also take a walk down the Via Arduino and Palestro, which are considered to be the main shopping streets.

Orange Battle
Castle of Ivrea

The very important part of getting acquainted with the city is tasting its local cuisine. In the morning, during Carnevale di Ivrea, don’t miss the free distribution of beans. Cured pork and beans washed down with red wine is a foodgasm. Speaking of local wine, you should try spiced, hot-served wine, known as vin brulé. Its fragrance and exquisite taste make it a must-try for every traveler. And, probably, the best way to finish a meal is a piece of Torta 900. This is not just a cake, it is a delectably sweet chocolate cake, that simply melts in your mouth and is an example of a spectacular Italian cuisine.

Orange Battle
Torta 900

Although the Battle of the Oranges is a little messy and even violent, it is not simply the throwing of oranges. For locals, it is an important part of their culture and first of all, it’s the symbol of their liberty and freedom of expression. The Battle of the Oranges makes this carnival one of the leading carnivals in Italy and all over the world. No elaborate preparations are required. Just book accommodation and air ticket in advance, bring your Berretto Frigio, comfortable clothing, plus yourself and your friends. Find your freedom, unleash yourself from rigid rules and gloomy daily routine. Feel the vivacious atmosphere of the Carnival de Ivrea and its crazy, yet fantastic Battle of the Oranges.

 

…if you lack vitamin C, BENVENUTI AL BATTAGLIA DELLE ARANCE!

Venice Carnival 2020

 “Parade in crinoline and lovers in disguise:
Mysterious, opulent, lascivious Carnival!”
-Mihaela Pirjol

Venice Carnival, what was your first thought, first association? Mirrors of water, old roads that lead you to get lost in narrow streets, the grandeur of mysterious architecture,  people that hide their personalities behind masks,  music, and dancing soaked in history, that reminds us about that epoch “with curls, silk, satin, pearls, and lace”. Venice Carnival is a period of fairy-tales, dreams, hidden desires, love and freedom. Let’s dive in the next journey of something obscure, mysterious and exciting!

The Carnevale di Venezia is one of the most famous and highly anticipated events in the world. It is a magnetic peculiarity and symbol of the “floating” city. This Carnival is a riveting mix of magnificent masquerades, street fairs, charming balls with a beautiful background of Venice. The Venice Carnival in its present form has been celebrated since 1979 when Italian government and Venetian civic society decided to revive it as an attempt to boost interest in Venice and its rich customs and traditions. However, the original Carnevale di Venezia traces its roots back to the 12th century, if not earlier.  Many of the traditions and extravagant, bizarre, fantastic highlights of today’s Carnival come straight from the Middle Ages.

Venice Carnival, which in 2020 will be held from February 8 to February 25 traditionally takes place in the days leading up to Lent. This magical event fills the streets with smiles and laughter, where you can see people wearing sumptuous costumes and masks. If you want to be fully immersed in the charming atmosphere of the festival, wear a costume or at least a Venetian mask. After all, the Venetian mask is the remarkable feature that makes Venice Carnival unique and it can be also a nice souvenir to bring home. If you want to be 100% involved in the celebration, then take a part in the costume contest, showing your outfit on stage at the Gran Teatro of Piazza San Marco.

Venice Carnival

Venice Carnival

Venice Carnival

Coming to Venice Carnival is not only about drinking and making fool of yourself wearing odd, fantastic, fairy-like costumes.  For instance, you can discover hidden Venice on a Carnival-exclusive walking tour (be sure to book online in advance as these tours and events sell out quickly).

One more thing, you shouldn’t miss the Flight of the Angel or Volo dell’Angelo in Italian. This performance is free and also one of the most crowded ones during the entire program of the Carnival, so if you want to see it, arrive in Saint Mark’s Square ( Piazza San Marco) earlier, not later than 11 am. Also, every day at St. Mark’s Square you can contemplate the largest number of masqueraders between 10 am and 4 pm when the costume parades are going on.

Venice Carnival
Volo dell’Angelo

While enjoying the pomp and pageantry of the constant procession of parades, don’t forget to taste something specifically from the local cuisine, for example, the sweet treat called frittelle. Experience the variety of Italian wine. It can taste like a symphony, a flawless performance or a euphoric salsa party. Relish full-flavored divine pasta. There is nothing better, than delectable pasta accompanied by heavenly wine, like Barolo or any other, depending on your unique taste. The marvelous culmination of your Carnival experience will be the fireworks show at St. Mark’s Square, which is said to be one of the most unforgettable moments of this great celebration.

Venice Carnival
Venice Carnival Fireworks

Dreaming about Venice, mind that every good trip requires a  great preparation. The Carnevale di Venezia is one of the most visited events in the world and hotels might get fully booked months in advance. Avoid paying extra and frittering away your money, get your booking as soon as possible. The most important, don’t forget to bring your costume and mask!

BENVENUTI AL CARNAVALE ! WELCOME TO CARNIVAL !

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