The Alpine ethos that brings the malghe — or Alpine dairies — to life is built on sacrifice and hard work, but also genuine beauty, simplicity and authenticity.
The Malghe: Alpine dairies in the present-day mountains
The Alpine dairies of Val Rendena
mankind and nature Alpine dairies and pastures, an example of successful symbiosis between mankind and nature, have been an iconic symbol of this land for centuries. They are scattered throughout the mid-altitude territory of Val Rendena, both to the east, at the feet of the Brenta Dolomites, and to the west, on the green slopes that lead to the Adamello-Presanella realm of rock and ice.
rendena cattle As stewards to protect and safeguard the land, many of the farmsteads are home to herds of Rendena cattle during summer, Trentino’s only indigenous bovine breed. In some which have been modernised and adapted to today’s standards, dairy cheese and butter are produced between June and September, with their characteristics varying from pasture to pasture. One common quality, however, is their typical colour, with a yellow glow thanks to the flora-rich hay that the cattle graze on in the pastures.
Albe in Malga (Dawn in the Dairy) During summer, the Tourism Board, the Parco Naturale Adamello Brenta Geopark, and other organisations and associations offer initiatives to raise awareness and appreciation of “the guardians of the Alps”, the work they do and the products they make. One of these is the “Albe in malga”, or “Dawn in the Dairy” experience. As the first light of day breaks over the region’s most picturesque pastures, follow the malgari or cowherds as they lead their herds to pasture, try your hand at milking the traditional way, participate in the production of butter and cheese and, finally, sit down all together to enjoy a delicious breakfast with produce from the dairy itself.
The Alpine dairies of Valle del Chiese
Given the shape of the side valleys of Valle del Chiese, it is no surprise that they are host to some of the most inviting Alpine meadows in Trentino.
These definitely include the Bissina Alpine Meadow and the Boazzo Alpine Meadow with their lakes, Lake Bissina, created from the Bissina Alpine Meadow dam, in the Daone Valley and Lake Boazzo.
It is here, in the high mountain pastures, where animals can be brought to graze, giving diary products an unmistakeable flavour.
Still the location and symbol of ancient knowledge, today the Alpine Meadows can be experienced fully through the Malghe aperte (Open Alpine Farmstead) project that allows participation each year in everything from milking to producing Trentino cheeses.
Families can take part in creative workshops children-focused.
Each malga offers the opportunity to see closely their characteristic animals: cows, goats, horses, donkeys and poultry.
Moreover, it will be possible to observe the cheese making process and buy the genuine products of the malga.