Magasa Lake Garda

excerpt from the book “Lake Garda”
Magasa – Photo © Rob Campion

Tales of the people, traditions, trades and products of the area inland of the lake. The interweaving of these elements is self-evident to those visiting the Magasa area, pausing in the town and then reaching the characteristic barns with their thatched roofs and the extensive pastures of Cima Rest, where typical cheeses are produced.

The aroma of milk is accompanied by the color of flowers. For centuries the slopes of Monte Tombea and Monte Caplone have indeed been a place of refuge for very rare and much admired species of plants and numerous examples of alpine fauna.

Magasa Barns

The territory of the village of Magasa is characterized by a strong presence of  barns, small, old, rural buildings used to preserve the hay and to breed cattle. The barns are mostly placed in the pasture  of Denai and Cima Rest.

Until some decades  ago the breeder  lived here during all year round. In summer, from June to September, the shepherd made the hay, while the  livestock was in public pasture land  of Corna, Casina, Bait e Tombea. From Autumn to spring the shepherd took care of his livestock and dedicated himself to  the production of cheese and butter. He worked also in order to maintain the building, and especially the hay-roof  in good condition. He chopped the wood and made the work-instruments.

Magasa Barns – Photo © RoCam

The architecture of these barns is the only one of its  kind and, except some resemblance to some barns in other part of northern Italy (Monte Valpiana, in the Village of  Bosco Chiesanuova, in the district of Verona and on the mountains between Asiago and Belluno), no exemplar exists in Italy.

The building, a  masterpiece of  efficiency and thrift, is made up of a ground floor closed by strong and thick walls of rocks. In the ground floor there are  three rooms, the cowshed, to protect the livestock from the cold winter, the shepherd’s room, where the shepherd can produce and  preserve the cheese and the butter and  the  warehouse (rolt).

The first floor has a floor made of wood boards leaned on strong beams. Here the hay was kept dry during all the winter round. The floor has very steep  slope and it is covered with bundles of  wheat hay, that are a meter and 20 centimeters long. The bundles are placed side by side and are put one on top of the other, to make them water-repellent.

How to get there

Magasa map Garda Lake

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