The fair of Saint Michael

The day of Saint Michael is celebrated every year in Prada Bassa, traditionally marking the end of the summer pasture season on Monte Baldo.

In May farmers head up the mountain, leading a total of approximately three thousand cows to pasture on Monte Baldo. During the summertime, therefore, the world of malghe comes alive with the alpine pasture season.

Even though there are some innovations in the sector, many ancient traditions still persist today. For example, the fact that the summer alpine pasture season must end on a day prescribed by ancient customs: 29th September, the day of San Michél (or Saint Michael).

For centuries this day has marked the end of the summer pasture season on Monte Baldo, and still today it’s a festivity that is very much alive: the livestock festival of Saint Michael in Prada Bassa.

In fact, it wasn’t until the Venetian Republic (known as La Serenissima) was in power that the seasonal alpine pasture became organized and incentivized.

Still to this day, the Prada festivity represents a moment of gathering for all the mountain people and malghesi.

It’s a time to review and examine the season, or perhaps to finalize contracts under the vigilant supervision of ever-present mediators. The protagonists of San Michél are not only the mountain people, but also the cows themselves, which are put on display in some meadows next to a small Romanesque temple that faces Lake Garda.

Da: Angelo Peretti:  “Far San Michél

La fiera di San Michele a San Zeno di Montagna e le tradizioni dell’alpeggio e dei formaggi del Monte Baldo”