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Bitto Storico

Heritage and expression of heroic mountain agriculture

Casera Bitto Storico
The Casèra (cellar)

Naturally cooled by the river Bitto, it keeps the gold of the
Orobic Alps

Bitto forme in dedica
Dedicated cheeses

Choose your cheese and we will look after it

Calèec (itinerant dairy)

The secret of the transformation of fresh warm milk,
directly on the pastures

Capra Orobica
Orobic goat

Native and rustic, these goats make rich milk used in Storico cheese

Sala Degustazione
Tasting room

Tasting sections of Bitto and sipping a good Nebbiolo wine

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Bitto Center

The Bitto Center is the headquarters of the Valli del Bitto Trading S.p.A. company and of the Save Heritage Bitto Consortium. These headquarters are in Gerola Alta, in the “Casèra”, where it is possible to age Bitto cheeses for up to 10 years.
The process of giving value to Heritage cheese of the Bitto valley began in 2002 when 16 cheesemakers,
represented by Paolo Ciapparelli, formed the Associazione Valli del Bitto and created a set of rules that respected traditional work methods (Heritage).
The aim of the association was to preserve a series of traditional practices that guaranteed the quality of the product, as well as conserving the environment and the alpine biodiversity.
In 2003, the association gained the recognition of Slow Food Presidia. It was then decided to invest resources in the creation of a Casera in Gerola Alta (cheese cellar where the cheeses can be left to ripen and mature), where the producers could keep
the Heritage cheese which they made according to tradition, once they returned from the summer pastures.
The Save Heritage Bitto Consortium, which has taken the place of the earlier association, is funded by Valli del Bitto S.p.A. This company manages the Casèra (cheese cellar), guarantees to buy the cheeses at an ethical price, and sells and promotes this excellent product on a national and international level.
The Consortium has always aimed at preserving the quality of this amazing cheese, selecting only the best cheeses to be kept in the Casèra for up to 10 years.
The Casèra was built in this little village of Gerola Alta in order to give value to the historical area of the alpine pastures of the Bitto valleys. These valleys, and Heritage cheese, are named after the river that flows from them. The preservation of this product,
conducted by the Consorzio Bitto Storico, is possible thanks to the passion and dedication of local entrepreneurs, without which it would not have been possible to build the Caséra in Gerola Alta.
The aim is not only that of preserving Storico and its environment, but also that of creating jobs and encouraging people to live in the mountain villages. In order to create a better economy in this alpine region it’s very important to rediscover and give value to
one’s own history and traditions.

Dedicated cheeses

The very best cheeses of Storico can be bought and dedicated. You can leave your wheel in our cellar and we take care of ripening.

The best wheels of cheese are selected in the Caséra in Gerola Alta, which, over the years has become almost a museum!
Once the desired maturity is reached, or when celebrating a special occasion, the wheel of cheese can be collected and...eaten!
To buy or give a personalised wheel of cheese please contact us or pay us a visit at the Centro del Bitto Storico in Gerola Alta.

Storico cheese cellar

At the lower level of the building Centro del Bitto in Gerola Alta it is possible to visit the cellar wheremore than 3’000 wheels of  Storico cheese from various years are kept.
At the end of the summer season, by the middle of September, the 12 Save Heritage Bitto Consortium producers deposit the wheels of cheese produced in the summer pastures in the cellar. Here the Heritage is tended, a process which requires constant care to bring the cheeses to the correct level of maturity. In the first year, the wheels which are placed on wooden shelves, are regularly cleaned and turned to allow for correct oxygenation. They are cleaned using a machine and a blade in order to eliminate superficial mould. The frequency of this process depends on the external climate: in case of humidity and warmth more work is required on the cheeses in the cellar.
During this operation the staff check the appearance of each wheel and make a first selection of the Storico to be further matured. The selection process entails choosing the best cheeses to mature and cutting those that have small visible defects
on the rind (mites or “carol”, swelling).
If the defects are likely to compromise the quality of the product, the wheels of cheese are classified as second choice compared to those approved by the Slow Food Presidia.

The best wheels chosen may be left to mature for 10 years or more:
“When you taste a small piece of 10 year old Bitto the taste is surprisingly good, the result of the absolute quality of this cheese. The initial surprise at such a delicious flavour leads one to ask a thousand questions about how a similar explosion of tastes
can come to be. It is therefore absolutely necessary to know its history to understand that you have before you a medieval product. And for this reason it is unique, inimitable and extraordinary.”
Hervè Mons, best expert of France. Turin Salone del Gusto 2002

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