Explore the ancient practice of transhumance in Italy. From walks with shepherds through breathtaking landscapes to tastings of the finest dairy products, Italy offers unique experiences that celebrate this centuries-old tradition. Plan your trip by integrating these must-see stops.

What is Transhumance and What Experiences Can You Have in Italy?
Transhumance is the seasonal migration of livestock between summer and winter pastures, a millennia-old practice that has shaped the landscape and culture of many Italian regions. Today, various regions offer tourists the opportunity to participate in this tradition, allowing them to discover pastoral life, savor typical products, and enjoy unique natural landscapes. Each region presents peculiarities that make the transhumance experience unique and fascinating.

 Abruzzo: Heart of Transhumance

Abruzzo, with its vast national parks and majestic mountains, is the heart of Italian transhumance. In particular, Abruzzo Citeriore, corresponding to the current province of Chieti, offers suggestive routes that cross historic villages and breathtaking landscapes. Here, tourists can join shepherds during their seasonal migrations, experiencing the rite of transhumance firsthand. Local farms open their doors to visitors, offering tastings of typical products such as Pecorino di Farindola, a pecorino cheese with a strong flavor, and Canestrato di Castel del Monte, an aged cheese with a rich and complex taste. To accompany these cheeses, nothing is better than a glass of Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, a robust red wine that enhances the intense flavors of the dairy products.

Molise: Tradition and Nature
Molise, with its unspoiled landscapes and historic villages, offers a unique transhumance experience. Here, visitors can follow the historic routes of shepherds through mountains and hills, participating in guided horseback excursions along the ancient transhumance paths. The region’s farms offer tours and tastings of cheeses such as Caciocavallo di Agnone, a spun cheese with an aromatic flavor, and Scamorza, a semi-hard cheese often smoked with a delicate taste. Tintilia del Molise, an indigenous red wine, pairs perfectly with aged cheeses, offering an unforgettable food and wine experience.

Lazio: From Maremma to the Apennines
In Lazio, transhumance is a living practice that crosses the Apennine mountains and the plains of Maremma Laziale. Visitors can participate in historic walks along the transhumance routes, visiting characteristic villages and discovering ancient traditions. Cooking and tasting activities offer the opportunity to savor typical products such as Pecorino Romano, a hard pecorino cheese with a salty and pungent taste, and Ricotta Romana, fresh and light. Cesanese del Piglio, an elegant red wine, is ideal for accompanying Pecorino Romano, while Frascati Superiore, a white wine, pairs perfectly with fresh ricotta.

Sardinia: Tradition and Longevity in the Blue Zones
Sardinia is famous not only for its breathtaking landscapes and pastoral culture but also for the so-called Blue Zones, geographical areas where people live longer than average. The Blue Zones in Sardinia are mainly located in the region of Ogliastra and Barbagia. Here, tourists can join shepherds in their seasonal migrations, exploring the Blue Zones and discovering the secrets of longevity. Visits to farms offer tastings of cheeses such as Pecorino Sardo, with an intense and spicy taste, and Fiore Sardo, a smoked and aged cheese with a strong and decisive flavor. For a complete food and wine experience, Sardinian cheeses pair perfectly with Cannonau di Sardegna, a robust red wine, and Vermentino di Gallura, a fresh and aromatic white wine.

Puglia: Between Murge and Gargano
In Puglia, transhumance mainly takes place between the Murge and Gargano, crossing landscapes of great beauty and historical interest. Tourists can participate in pastoral trekking along the transhumance routes and take part in taste workshops at local farms. Here, they can learn to make cheeses such as Burrata, a fresh and creamy cheese with a heart of stracciatella and cream, and Caciocavallo Podolico, a rare and prized cheese made from the milk of Podolica cows. Primitivo di Manduria, a full-bodied and fruity red wine, enhances the creaminess of burrata, while Nero di Troia, another red wine from the region, is excellent with Caciocavallo Podolico.

Calabria: Between Sila and Aspromonte
Calabria offers an authentic transhumance experience in its mountainous areas, including Sila and Aspromonte. Visitors can participate in guided excursions along the transhumance routes and visit local farms for tastings of typical products such as Pecorino Crotonese, an aged pecorino cheese with a strong and spicy flavor, and Provola Silana, a spun cheese with a sweet and slightly smoked taste. Cirò Rosso, an intense red wine, pairs perfectly with the flavorful cheeses of Calabria, offering a food and wine combination with great impact.

A Journey into the Heart of Italian Traditions

Transhumance represents a unique and engaging way to explore Italy, offering travelers the opportunity to discover the richness of local traditions and the quality of Italian dairy products. Integrating these experiences into your travel itinerary allows you to fully experience the culture and gastronomic excellence of Italy, making every visit an unforgettable adventure among the flavors and aromas of the different regions.

This new trend in tourism not only enriches the trip with unique experiences but also supports local communities, promoting sustainable and respectful tourism of traditions. Whether you are a food lover, a history enthusiast, or simply looking for an authentic experience, Italy offers a journey into the heart of its pastoral traditions. To further explore the authentic Italy and its roots, check out our article on Italian roots tourism.

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