The return of the cattle is a colourful event in autumn, which every year attracts people from all over.
Image gallery: Cattle drive in South Tyrol
When the cattle returns from the South Tyrolean alpine pastures, young and old celebrate! During this traditional event - “Almabtrieb” in German, “Transumanza” in Italian - cows, sheep, goats and horses return from alpine summer pastures to their stables. Especially the cows are beautifully decorated with wreaths made of alpine roses and mountain pine to ask for divine protection, and with mirrors and cowbells to scare off evil spirits.
Usually the cattle drive takes place in autumn between mid-September and mid-October. As you might notice, the return of the cattle is a real event, which heralds the start of the cold season. Of course there are also live folk music, local delicacies made by farmwomen, folk dance, the traditional “Schuhplattler” and performances of the “Goaslschnöller”. Events offered around the cattle drives include for example the “Lamb Weeks” in the Val d’Ultimo valley.
Famous are above all the “Schofschoad” in the Val Senales valley, the cattle drive on the beautiful Siusi Alp or the return of the Haflinger horses on the Renon High Plateau. By the way: did you know that the ancient tradition of the transhumance in the Val Senales valley is part of the UNESCO World Heritage List? For centuries already, during this longest-standing and largest movement of sheep in the entire Alpine region, the shepherds and their animals overcome a distance of 44 km between the Oetztal valley in North Tyrol and the Val Senales in South Tyrol.