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Transhumance Show all photos
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Transhumance

From 20 April to 19 May 2024

Visconti Tower

Visconti Tower

Piazza XX Settembre, 3, Lecco

Open, closing soon closes at 18:00

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From 20 April to 19 May 2024 the exhibition " Transumanza - Photographic Exhibition " by Stefano Pensotti and Carlo Sala will be held in Torre Viscontea

When we see a shepherd with his dogs and his sheep, at the edge of the roads along which we speed, we wonder which mysterious paths he takes to reach the mountain pastures , and how he manages to find everywhere, in a landscape that seems to be made up only of houses. and sheds, meadows to feed the animals and woods in which to sleep on the leaves. Because they still do it like this, the Galbusera agricultural company, father and son, a flock of over 3000 sheep, the subject of these photographs, still lives by these customs. Franco and his son Andrea , the fourth generation of shepherds, graze their flock in the uncultivated fields between lower and upper Brianza, in the province of Lecco. Then in May, as has always been done, they climb the mountains of Valsassina. The transhumance between Valsassina and Brianza is a historical fact, well documented since the late Middle Ages. The transhumance of dairy cows continued until the 1960s. But immediately after the war the cows were moved by train or truck. The sheep transhumance, however, never stopped, it went up and down secondary roads, with small flocks, and took country roads. In the midst of the great transformations of the territory he managed to find spaces and conquered new ones. With the cessation of small agricultural activities in the mountains, sheep take on a very precious role in the maintenance and care of the no longer cultivated space. This applies to fields, but also to pastures and mountain pastures. There were once many breeders who competed for the mountain pastures, now among the few livestock farms left in Valsassina not all of them are on mountain pastures. And if there were no real shepherds, the pastures would end up with speculators who, through more or less legalized scams, manage to collect very large state contributions by pretending to graze. Shepherds like the Galbusera continue the tradition of transhumance, people accustomed to moving as in ancient times, with the same slowness, in the midst of a reality like that of the Lombardy region which thrives on speed, on trucks launched on the highways, on planes taking off from Malpensa right above a flock grazing in the meadows.

Since December 2019, transhumance has been proclaimed an intangible cultural heritage of humanity. In deciding on this important recognition, UNESCO intended to protect the ancient practice of pastoralism consisting in the seasonal migrations of livestock along sheep tracks in the Mediterranean and in the Alps. In July 2022 the Lombardy Region decided to protect transhumance through a specific legislative project to enhance this ancient craft, but at the same time the environment, landscape and biodiversity. In April the shepherds of the Galbusera company move the flock closer and closer to Lecco, grazing in the upper Brianza until they reach Galbiate and from there up to the Sanctuary of San Michele, a sanctuary of Lombard origin on the slopes of Mount Barro in front of the city of Lecco. Franco and his son Andrea with their sheep have been making this itinerary for decades now, crossing Lecco with 1000 sheep at a time to disturb as little as possible at night. But on Saturday morning 23 May 2020 the decision to cross the city during the day and with a single flock of 3200 sheep, for the first time, the super transhumance at the same time, a celebration for the 2019 Unesco recognition and also for overcoming the critical phase of the Covid-19 epidemic (the first heavy lockdown in Italy ends on 18 May). At 06.00 the super flock descends from San Michele and crosses the historic Azzone Visconti bridge. After the bridge through the city in the direction of the Valsassina pastures where they will divide, one part will continue towards the Erna plains and the Morterone basin. One part towards the high pastures of the Grigne and another towards the pastures of Culmine di San Pietro and Artavaggio on the border with the province of Bergamo.


INFORMATION

- PERIOD: from 20 April to 19 May 2024
- PLACE: Torre Viscontea
- ENTRY: Free entry

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