Some 140 tonnes of the squishy red beauties are trucked in for the running battle, which is concentrated around Plaza del Pueblo and attracts 30,000 visitors.

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La Tomatina began in 1945, possibly as an anti-Franco protest or simply as a food fight between friends. When the red riot is over, peace and cleanliness quickly return to Buñol. Fire trucks hose down the rabble and shopkeepers remove splattered plastic sheets from their stores.

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Essentials: Goggles are recommended, but it’s what you don’t bring to La Tomatina that’s most important. The crazed tomato-throwers take no prisoners; cameras are seen as positive invitations to pelt the owner. Women should be aware that a wet T-shirt competition is an unofficial part of the day. Tomatoes are supplied, but ensure they are squashed or fruit might not be the only bruised bodies in town.

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Local attractions: During the week before the scrap, Buñol hosts a paella cook-off and various festivities and fireworks. The best place to stay is nearby Valencia.

More info: www.latomatina.es/en/

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