February 21, 2009

war stories

This weekend in a little village in Northern Italy, the streets are covered in oranges. Three years ago I ran across this event as one of the best accidental finds I've ever encountered. I had just finished a month in Torino working for NBC Olympics, and was beginning my first tour of Europe for a couple/few weeks afterward. I had a Eurail pass but only a general idea at that point of where I wanted to go. Somehow I had realized a few days earlier that Mardi Gras is also Carnevale, celebrated in many European cities, especially in Italy. I did some googling and ran across the festival held in a little town called Ivrea called the 'Battle of the Oranges'. It turned out that Ivrea was about an hour train ride from Torino, so I spent the first day of my own time in Europe at the Battle of the Oranges. I had no idea what to expect. I got off the train at this quiet little village and wandered with a few others towards town. I stopped on the way at a vendors table to ask why everyone was wearing red caps or scarves and discovered it was a marker that you weren't a participant in the battle. I bought one. The rest of the day was wandering around this amazing village as horse-drawn carts would come through and groups on the carts would engage in battle with groups on the ground. The streets were deep in orange mush. Needless to say, it was unlike anything I had ever seen. It was also a time that having the blog really crystallized as an outlet for me - I couldn't wait to get back and post the pictures and stories to share. The link below will take you to my other posts about the day. Its the kind of unique experience that I truly love and am always so grateful to have happened upon it. But I think it also holds a special place in my heart just because it was how I began my first ever European tour. What a way to begin.
  • jonberrydesign:blog earlier posts about Battle of the Oranges
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