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Thousands of Italians attend medieval 'Battle of the Oranges'

Italians in the northern city of Ivrea marked carnival on Sunday with the annual 'Battle of the Oranges', an event where people pit against each other for a medieval citrus bash.

The event, dating back to medieval times, sees teams dressed up in brightly coloured medieval costumes engaging in a fierce orange-throwing fight that leaves the cobbled streets covered in a thick carpet of mashed orange pulp.

According to a legend dating back to the 12th century Violetta, the daughter of a local miller, was bound by feudal laws to spend her wedding night with the town's evil lord. In order to save her honour she beheaded the nobleman and set Ivrea free from his tyranny.

Every year some 500 tonnes of oranges are shipped from Sicily to the Piedmont region in order to provide weapons to the fruit-flinging warriors.

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