Tag Archives: moving livestock

transumanza 2012

…i know it’s almost time to leave Biella when the transumanza begins; the twice yearly ritual of moving animals, here mainly cattle, down from the mountain and into the plains for the duration of the extremely harsh winters they have up in the hills around here. The sound of the large bells the cows have around their necks resonates for a good 10 minutes before you actually see any of the livestock and it’s my favourite sound…an announcement of autumn…as heard in the film below.

la transumanza…

transumanza from the Latin words “tras” (through/across) and “humus” (land or soil)

Biella is known for it’s industrial past but it is also situated in the heart of mountains, plains, pastures and farmland…

So getting up very early in the morning does have its benefits. This morning around 7.30 as i was heading up the road away from the Fondazione on my way up to town to have my breakfast, when i heard the distant clanging of many cow bells. It was the transumanza – my favourite way to mark the seasons over here…

…basically this is the twice yearly ritual of moving animals, here mainly cattle, down from the mountain and into the plains for the duration of the extremely harsh winters they have up in the hills around here. They pass right by Cittadellarte on via Serralunga, and have a rest in the neighbouring car park before carrying on towards the savanna of Baraggia…and then in the spring time they go up again…

The noise made by the bells around their necks as they wander past on the road makes a sound that implies there are a thousand head of cattle on the way, this small herd could be heard from a distance for a long time before we could see them…

cows in the cow car park