When we heard there was going to be an orange fight in Italy, we had to be there. Here are some of the best photographs taken by our roaming writer-photographer, Kiki Deere.

The small town of Ivrea, 55km north of Turin, hosts one of Italy’s most exuberant carnivals. Dating back to the end of the twelfth century, the Historic Carnival of Ivrea culminates in the Battle of the Oranges, a boisterous event in which participants launch 600,000kg of oranges at one another over the course of three days.

Nine combat teams re-enact the civil war that broke out when the town's tyrant attempted to exercise his droit du seigneur on the daughter of a local miller, who was quick to cut the tyrant's head off. A battle ensued between the townsfolk and the tyrant’s guards, symbolised today by teams of aranceri, or orange handlers, riding carts who clash against more aranceri on foot, who represent the townspeople.

Today, a married woman is elected each year to represent the miller’s daughter, and is considered the Queen of the Carnival. Spectators wear red Phyrigian Hats to avoid being pelted with oranges, while nets are draped over buildings throughout town, providing a safety barrier for onlookers. The misshapen oranges, destined to landfill, come from Calabria and Sicily.

Crowds Gather in the square to greet this year’s miller’s daughter

Battle of the Oranges

The miller’s daughter greets the crowds

The Miller's Daughter, Battle of the Oranges

Cheering and chanting as the mugnaia waves at the audience

crowds at Battle of the Oranges, Italy

A team initiate two new members for the Battle of the Oranges

Battle of the Oranges, Italy

The Nobili Alfieri throw oranges at full speed from their cart

the Nobili Alfieri throw oranges at full speed from their cart, battle of the oranges

Oranges fly in the air as teams pelt one another

oranges fly in the air as teams pelt each another

La Contea di Montenavale pelt the Picche team from their cart

La Contea di Montenavale pelt the Picche team from their cart

Guards battle against aranceri on foot

Guards battle against aranceri on foot, Battle of the Oranges

The Difensori di San Lorenzo bombard orange handlers on foot

the Difensori di San Lorenzo bombard orange handlers on foot

The Arduini team get ready to pelt oranges

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A participant picking up oranges for the next battle

Participant picking up oranges for the next battle, Battle of the Oranges

A dog, much like spectators, wears a Phyrigian hat so participants know not to throw oranges at him

Dog wears spectator hat, Battle of the Oranges

Guards fight back

Guards fight back, Ivrea, Italy

Orange mushed into ground

orange mush, battle of the oranges

two members of the Diavoli team have a game fight

Play fighting, Battle of the Oranges

The Mercenari team have a short rest

Resting in Battle of the Oranges, Italy

Cleaning the streets before the arrival of the miller’s daughter

 cleaning the streets before the arrival of the miller’s daughter, Battle of the Oranges

The Diavoli team enjoying a well-deserved break

the Diavoli team enjoying a well-deserved break, Battle of the Oranges

Ivrea’s town hall square is one of the major sights of the battle

Ivrea’s town hall square is one of the major sights of the battle

A cart circles the square

A cart circles the square, Battle of the Oranges

A layer of orange pulp coats the ground

A layer of orange pulp coats the ground, Battle of the Oranges

Matteo, a proud member of the Diavoli team

Participant, Battle of the Oranges

waiting for the next battle

waiting for the next battle, Battle of the Oranges

A family poses for a photo

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A pole covered with heather and juniper bush burns in the main square

a pole covered with heather and juniper bush burns in the main square, Italy

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