A ritual return from the mountain pastures

Trentino’s Desmontegada: an unmissable celebration

Every September, the clanging of cowbells in Trentino’s valleys heralds the great Desmontegada festival: the malgari, or cowherds, don their traditional outfits and carry wheels of Alpine cheese, produced throughout the summer, down into the valley. Meanwhile, herds and flocks of livestock descend upon town centres, their horns festively adorned with colourful ribbons and flowers.

Desmontegada, or the descent of the goats, is an ancient festival held in late summer to celebrate the return of the animals from pasture high in the mountains to their stalls in the valleys, where they will shelter until the fine weather returns next year. The atmosphere is that of a party in which everybody, young and old, gets involved with singing, dancing and typical local products.

In Trentino, many Desmontegada events take place between late August and mid-October. Below you can find a list of these with dates, times, and some interesting facts!

Desmontegada de le Caore

From 8 to 10 September in Cavalese, in Val di Fiemme, the return of cows from summer pastures will turn into a festival of music, folklore, walks at dawn, visits to stables, workshops and precious tastings of the traditional culinary excellence of the Magnificent Products from Fiemme.

Desmalgada in Pieve di Bono

On 10 September the appointment is on the mountains of Pieve di Bono, Prezzo and Castel Condino for the Desmontegada on the Boniprati plateau of Valle del Chiese. A popular festival celebrated every year with cowbells, shepherds, smiles and many typical local products.

Transhumance – from Lagorai to the Sea

On 9 and 10 September, a big party celebrates the arrival of the sheep in Pieve Tesino, in Valsugana, from summer pastures. The weekend is dedicated to shearing, ancient crafts and, of course, tastings of dairy products and more.

The Smalgiada

In Val di Non, the Desmontegada is celebrated in Rumo on 9 and 10 September. Protagonists of the festivities are cows, herdsmen and cheeses. The streets of the small town will host parades of cowbells, lots of music, markets, dances and entertainment.

Desmontegada de le Vache & Festival of Taste

In Predazzo, in Val di Fiemme, the return from mountain pastures is celebrated on the last weekend of September. For the occasion, in addition to wagons, shepherds and bells, you can take a journey into taste with traditional menus in an eco-sustainable style.

The Desmontegar Jamboree

At the foot of Pale di San Martino di Castrozza, this jamboree involves all the communities of the valley. The programme is jam-packed: from tastings of the various products, with cheeses as protagonists, to visits to producers with many activities for families.

Desmontegade of Val di Fassa

Within the great Puzzone di Moena Festival from 15 to 17 September, Val di Fassa offers two Desmontegade events, on Saturday in Soraga and on Sunday in Moena. A long weekend celebrating cows, goats and Alpine life with a packed calendar of activities for true cheese lovers.

“Razza Rendena” cows event

Which one will be the “Queen of Pinzolo 2023”? From 2 to 9 September, in Campiglio, an expert judge will select the best Rendena heifer from among 150 candidates. It is a festive event to learn about a peasant tradition that remains committed to protecting this native breed, while also preserving the natural balance of the territory.

Published on 11/09/2023