Désarpa is the patois, or Franco-Provençal dialect, word used to define the moment in which the herds leave high mountain pastures and come down towards the valley floor.

Désarpa also means the end of the summer season and for Valdôtain people living in the mountains is a true celebration, since the tough periods in the pasture are over.

The day in which the désarpa is held usually corresponds to 29th September, the day dedicated to Saint Michael.

Transhumance is celebrated in various towns of the Aosta Valley, but the showiest ones, where the cows, brushed and adorned with flowers and bows, parade while wearing their cowbells and while being celebrated by the whole local community are:

  • the désarpa in Valtournenche, in the Matterhorn valley,
  • the désarpa in Cogne, in the area of Gran Paradiso, where it is called ‘Devétéya’.

Do not miss the désarpa in Valtournenche and Cogne, one of the most authentic events linked to the agricultural Valdôtain culture, right at the foot of Matterhorn or Gran Paradiso!

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