Italian town shows zest for history with 'Battle of the Oranges' food fight

The annual tradition is thought to date back to the 12th century.

Italians in the northern town of Ivrea, near Turin, celebrated the carnival season with a historic local tradition dubbed "The Battle of the Oranges" over the weekend.

The town-wide fruit fracas pays homage to a local legend dating back to the 12th century and symbolizes a revolt against the noblemen of the area by the commoners.

The modern-day tradition uses hundreds of tons of oranges that would otherwise be discarded that are shipped from Sicily to the north for the festival.

While a team representing the evil lord's henchmen are clad in protective outfits for the townspeople to pelt with oranges, residents say the whole thing's in jest.

"The teams are not against each other, they are all friends who throw oranges for fun but nobody cares if you win or if you lose," said resident Stefano Caldera to local reporters.