Along with the creameries which can still be found in some of the villages, the Alpine dairies represent the valley’s outstanding tradition for dairy farming. Farmers and shepherds still take their animals up onto the high pastures around these dairies during the summer months. In early June, the animals are driven higher up the mountain to pastures new, sometimes going even higher in the middle of the summer, to find grazing land which has been able to ripen after the winter and which adds to the nutritional value of the milk produced. The summer season ends around mid-September, when there is no green grass left for the animals, the temperatures begin to drop and the nights draw in. The cows are dressed in all their finery for the celebration of their return to the valley, in a tradition known as the "Desmalghjada".
The rich grass, clean spring water and the pristine landscape all contribute to a delicious milk which the dairymen use to make traditional products such as ricotta, butter and cheese, the best known of which is the soft Casolet. In most cases, these delicacies can be tasted and purchased directly from the malga. Alongside their strong sense of tradition, many of these dairies now also offer food and drink to anyone who needs a break during their mountain hikes. They offer a taste of an authentic rural way of life, rooted in the natural environment, combining modernity with traditional customs.
Rabbi Vacanze has launched a new rating system for holiday homes in the Val di Rabbi using ‘nests’. The aim is to provide full transparency about the information provided and the facilities on offer. Download the document to find out more about how they are graded.