Departure: Cima Rest (1200 m)
Arrival: Malga Alvezza (1265 m)
Difference in altitude: 65 m
Travel time: 0.35h (one way)
Difficulty: T (Tourist)
Route: Bike & Trekking
Notes: it is also possible with a mountain buggy.
Places to visit: Characteristic barns with thatched roofs in the hamlet of Cima Rest, restored and adapted for the hospitality of tourists (for information, tel. +39 0365.388120 / +39 347.9072076), Ethnographic Museum and Astronomical Observatory at Cima Rest (for information, tel. +39 0365.745060 / +39.0365.745007 mail: email@example.com).
From the car park at Cima Rest, near the Ethnographic Museum and the restaurant-bar, go uphill for a few hundred metres on the road from Magasa until you turn right, just before the small church of the Alpini, onto the cemented road that goes up, in a northerly direction, through the meadows (white-red marker n. 69 for Monte Tombea). The ascent, which is steep in places, up to the top of the meadows, is cheered by the view of characteristic barns with thatched roofs of Austro-Hungarian origin and, later, by monumental, centuries-old beech trees.
Among the dairy products, the most characteristic and sought-after is certainly Tombea cheese.
Of excellent quality, it is the exclusive pride of the Val Vestino and is produced using only the milk of cows reared in the mountain pastures and stables in the area surrounding the homonymous mountain. It is a hard rind cheese, which has a limited commercial distribution due to the small number of producers. Unlike other mountain cheeses, it has a delicate, pleasant, sweet flavor with a vanilla aftertaste, according to some interpretations derived from the secondary compounds of certain orchids, including Nigritella nigra, which allows all the fragrance of the milk and mountain flowers to be appreciated. If placed in rooms with constant temperature and humidity, the cheeses can mature for up to ten years, becoming true gastronomic pearls. Considered one of the best Alpine cheeses, it is a Slow Food Presidium.
A mountainous area such as Val Vestino has known and continues to know the importance of the activities connected with the mountain pastures and the profession of the herdsman. On the one hand, these activities guarantee the production of milk and dairy products with high nutritional characteristics; on the other, they ensure the maintenance of the landscape, the preservation of knowledge and traditions and the conservation of the environmental balance. The preservation of the authenticity of these places, which can be considered to all intents and purposes “cultural landscapes”, is also due to the precious contribution of the breeders.