Giulio Andreini
 
 
Reportages: Sardinian Shepherds in Tuscany
Sardinian Shepherds in Tuscany

While travelling along the winding roads of the Crete countryside outlying Siena, all around lie green pastures dotted with white sheep nibbling at the grass. Every flock is watched over by a shepherd and his dog. These are Sardinian shepherds who came to Maremma in the1950s and 60s, when the local farmers abandoned the countryside for the city, selling their home and farmland for a mere pittance. The story of this mass migration in its third generation but still not completely integrated into the local culture, is full of interesting vicissitudes in Italian agricultural history. The fact that we may continue to admire enchanting landscapes in the Crete, savour the famous pecorino cheese made in Pienza and observe bygone traditions here is all thanks to the Sardinian shepherds, a cultural enclave that has enriched the cultural heritage of central Italy and is becoming increasingly prominent in the local economy.
Each family belongs to a vaster family clan in which the leading elder often has a surprising story to tell, such as that of Francesco Pittalis. He first left Illorai for Australia to pick tabacco and cut sugar cane, as was done in the 1800s. He then joined his brothers in Buonconvento, where he helped them raise sheep, shear them in the yearly group ritual, undertake the seasonal migration to winter pastures and transform the sheep milk into cheese.
The more recent story of Angelo Coseddu tells how he has managed to sell the products of his flock's milk in his own cheese factory and even in a new restaurant about to open to tourists at a country estate in a farmhouse restored by his grandchildren. All this progress has not heralded a loss of traditions: there are still family feasts, shearing celebrations and meetings in cultural centers where the home dialect is spoken.
In the Province of Siena 10% of the population is of Sardinian origin, and a thousand families manage 200,000 sheep, representing an increasingly important part of Tuscany's agricultural economy.
The true social life of this micro-society takes place outside its official Sienese and Maremman context, and in the past there were even isolated instances of criminality involving kidnapping. Some resulting suspicion and misunderstanding from the local community was subsequently overcome by the reputation for hard work that the Sardinians of Maremma created for themselves.

Text on request by Gianni Perotti

To know more:
www.terresiena.it

Reportage: 140 photos on DVD
Click to enlarge Click to enlarge Click to enlarge Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge Click to enlarge Click to enlarge Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge Click to enlarge Click to enlarge Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge Click to enlarge Click to enlarge Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge Click to enlarge Click to enlarge Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge Click to enlarge Click to enlarge Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge Click to enlarge Click to enlarge Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge Click to enlarge Click to enlarge Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge Click to enlarge Click to enlarge Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge Click to enlarge Click to enlarge Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge Click to enlarge Click to enlarge Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge Click to enlarge
  About Me


Portfolio


Archives


Published Works


Contact Me


Reportages



All images in this web site are under the protection of the Italian and international copyright laws. Unauthorized use is subject to severe civil and criminal penalties under applicable laws. No photograph may be reproduced, copied, stored or manipulated without the written permission of Giulio Andreini.
Please contact us for information concerning commercial or personal use (all images copyright © 2002-2013 Giulio Andreini).

824028 hits since 21.01.2004