On March 2, hundreds poured into Ivrea to reenact the northern Italians city's historic 'Battle of the Oranges.'

On March 2, hundreds poured into Ivrea to reenact the northern Italians city's historic 'Battle of the Oranges.'

The annual event sees large crowds dressed up in medieval costumes engage in a spectacular citrus clash bombarding each other with oranges from Sicily.

The 'Battle of the Oranges' originated from a legend of the 12th century, the daughter of a local miller rejected the advances of the town's evil lord.

She cut off his head and set Ivrea free from his tyranny.

The battle recalls the insurrection against the tyrant with participants split into noblemen and commoners with the oranges representing the oppressor's head.

The game was transformed into a spectacular event representing the fight for liberty and the symbol of the Ivrea Carnival.

"It's a laugh, it's a fun event. I'm trying to keep a bit of distance, I would have preferred to be in the audience but was given the outfit of the foot teams instead so I'm trying stay out of the way of the oranges but someone's already got me a few times unfortunately," said participant Giulia Baldini.

The actual battle begins when horse-drawn carts with the teams representing the tyrant's guards enter the town's main square and start to throw back oranges at the on foot team representing the rebellious commoners surrounding the carts and attacking them.

Many residents have attended every festival since childhood.

"This is certainly the most important event in Ivrea. It's definitely more important than Christmas or Easter.

"There is an energy among the people that you can't even describe," local resident Roberto Accio said.

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

Anybody can take part in the event by enlisting in one of the nine teams on foot or becoming a member of a carriage crew.