Transhumance: a choral celebration in Bressanvido (VI) for the arrival of 600 cattle from the high mountains
An opportunity, according to the dairy cooperation, to support the mountain region and local dairy excellence
21, Sep 2023
It is time for the herds to return home after three months in the high altitude mountain pastures: festivals and events celebrate the end of significant work to safeguard the territory and the lives of the farmers. This is what happens on Sunday 24 September at the Bressanvido Transhumance Festival in the province of Vicenza, where, as part of a more choral event "Transumando: come, discover and enjoy", born from the collaboration between the Municipal Administration, the Pro Loco di Bressanvido and Latterie Vicentine, we celebrate the return to the stables of the longest vertical transhumance in Italy, now in its 25th edition this year. The arrival of 600 heads of cattle, after a journey of approximately 80 kilometers and 3 days of walking, turns into a moment of aggregation that involves the entire community and which attracts over 20,000 people to the Municipality of Bressanvido every year. Also on the agenda is the cutting of the largest wheel of Asiago DOP cheese in Italy, the result of the work of 11 cheesemakers and the use of 11,000 liters of milk from the mountain huts of the Sette Comuni plateau.
The Bressanvido Transhumance Festival is an example of how this ancient peasant custom today takes on a spectacular character, also attracting gastronomic tourism. According to the dairy cooperation, in addition to being an opportunity to promote the territory, it is an opportunity to preserve mountain areas and enhance production which appears to be increasingly in difficulty.
“The cooperative system has always been a guarantor of mountain dairy production which, as already emerged last year during the first Summit on mountain livestock farming, is going through a period of extreme difficulty. Small production companies, although they exist thanks to the cooperative model, continue to be faced with increases in production costs, with the reduction in the number of animals raised and with the consequent closure of the stables – explains Giovanni Guarneri, Coordinator of the dairy sector of the Alliance of Cooperatives. - This is why, in this unstable scenario which has little promise, we believe that transhumance, even with its festivals made up of tastings, educational workshops and show cooking, can represent a driving force for the agri-food economy, bringing and raising awareness of more and more people dairy traditions and local excellences. The “Think Milk, Taste Europe, Be Smart” project is moving in the same direction, promoted by the Dairy Sector of the Alliance of Cooperatives, created by Confcooperative and co-financed by the European Commission, aimed at promoting a greater degree of awareness towards milk and its derivatives and to encourage a recovery in consumption".