Nonno is Ben's grandfather who lives in Italy, and he is a guest blogger.
Check out his "Where's Nonno?" in our archive!
|Nonno visited Mrs. Yollis' class while back in the United States.|
Nonno is a great photographer and travel guide!
Here is his new post about the cows in Courmayeur, Italy!
In the summer, the farmers take the cows high up in the mountain pastures where the grass is fresh and tender. The Fontina from the summer grass is best.
The end of the summer season is marked with a traditional celebration dear to the locals called "la désarpa". After a long summer spent in the high mountain pastures, at the foot of the highest peaks in Europe, the cows come to graze at the bottom of the valley during the fall until the snow arrives.
The cows walk through the villages, decorated with flowers and with all their lare bells ringing loudly. The children leave school to watch the parade through the village.
In the winter, the cows are inside the barns because of all the snow. While inside the cows eat hay. The cheese from the winter is good, but not as good as the summer cheese.
The battle of Queens, or as we call it the Battle of the Cows, is a folk event taking place in our Aosta Valley every year. Nearby countries of France and Switzerland have similar events.
The cows are paired off based on weight. Scraping the ground with their hoofs, pushing against or leaning onto the competitor's head, they mark their own territory; the encounter begins when one of the two challenges the other's space. The cows do not actually hurt each other.
The prizes for the winners are large bells hanging from a collar in richly worked leather, but the owner is happiest when the queen is in their barn.
The farmers that take care of the cows and make the Fontina also harvest chestnuts which they dry, store and eat with cream and honey.
|Cows and high pastures in the Alps|
A Presto - Nonno
Do you think you might like some Fontina or Chestnuts?
What do you think about the places our cows live?