13 July 2010

Malga Venegia

1malga sign

Michela & Roberto, our friends we met in the Dolomiti, kept us surprisingly busy during the short time we were there with them.  There was the unexpected but lovely (after-the-fact) climbing of the mountain to see a gorgeous waterfall, the strolls through the little town, the frequent stops for refreshments, the pic-nic near the running stream, the stops at play grounds, and, my favorite, the day at the malga.

2malga hike
malga hike river

I'm afraid I am unable to absolutely define malga, but I will attempt to describe our experience.  We arrived at a full parking lot and then proceeded to hike a kilometer or so to reach a pasture in the middle of the mountains -- a pasture full of seemingly happy cows.  Along with the pasture there was also a building that served as a restaurant and a place to milk those happy cows. 

1malga cowsmalga venegia
malga lunch

We enjoyed a leisurely mountain lunch with all sorts of local offerings, to include these delicious canederli, which resemble meatballs but are more like a cross between gnocchi and dumplings.  They were very good, but not nearly as good as the deserts made with the farm fresh milk of free-range Alpine cows.  

malga carnaederle
malga whipped cream
malga panna cotta

Once the lunch was done, we took the lead of our Italian hosts and were content to just hang out there for a while.  We took pictures with the cows, played a bit of frisbee on the grounds (yes, there were poop incidents), and just soaked up the sun on the deck chairs.  There wasn't a need to hurry on to the next adventure.  I noticed that most of the other hikers followed the same routine.  Chill. Relax. Breathe. Be.

malga relax1malga family
1malga crazy lady
An Excited Visitor !
malga me and mad3
1malga moooo
Richard and Young One do their best cow impersonations.  Mooo!

We visited the Malga Venegia near the Parco Naturale Paneveggio,  but I did notice many signs for others in the area as well as some with direct access by car.  We will be back.


  1. I love this! Relaxing in the country. Taking a break from the heat. Fresh dairy. That's my kind of vacation.


  2. I love the Dolomiti in the summer time. So green, so relaxing and so wonderful to escape the heat and breathe in the mountain air!

  3. How many times can I say jealous!

  4. looks very much like the Swiss Alps. So beautiful. Those desserts look amazing. What a great get-away.

  5. Relaxing is indeed the key -- even with outings and hikes. The fresh mountain air makes the difference.

    Les -- that's the best dairy-based dessert I've ever tasted; it's not like anything else ive ever had.

  6. malghe were always the end point of our hikes when I was a child: weºd have fresh, unpasturized panna montata and milk. gorgeous photos.
    PS donºt know for sure where my boys are (can you believe it?) somewhere near bolzano.

  7. Your pictures are great. Love those cows. What a place.