Transumanza in the Valle d'Aosta

The lovely Valdostana Pezzata Rosso - the essential component of one of my favourite cheeses, Fontina Valle d'Aosta. 

With the extreme exceptions of only the coldest winters, the sound of running water is almost always a constant sound outside of Zia's house.  But one sound I've never heard, because we typically visit in summer, are the bells of animals in pasture in the Valle d'Aosta, specifically in the località Valmeanaz, until this past autumn.

That's because, in the summer months, the cows are far up the mountains grazing on the fragrant grasses and flowers that make the milk (and consequently, the cheese) so special.  About the end of October, they are brought down from the mountains on the very roadways you will be driving on, so attenzione!  I pulled the Fiat over to let them pass and almost forgot to take a photo!

The bells are music.

Thank you to the mountain cheesemakers and to those who continue to live the pastoral life high in the Italian Alps. Grazie!


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