In the Middle Ages animals were also bred for the production of cheese, an important food essential and used in cooking in various ways. Such a common food and yet hardly mentioned in the land registry possibly because it was taken for granted. Cheese could also be bought in the market directly from the farmers in Volterra and in the PizziCagnoli shops that also sold sugar,fish,rice etc. An authentic experience of stepping back in time.
Back to the Past
Historical pangentry and traditions
Giovanni Canas, who established the Lischeto Farm, still sells his cheeses on the market stall in the historical centre of Volterra and he does so in style to promote his authentic produce. He not only displays his produce during the Authentic Food Fairs, often held throughout the year in the Cecina Valley, but also takes an active part in the Medieval events especially as cheese was an essential ingredient in Italian cuisine during the Middle Ages.
On the third Sunday of October,during the Volterra Gusto Food Festival, the Annual Cheese Rolling Contest takes place in the centre of town down the steep street of Via Franceschini. Teams from the eight Medieval city districts compete in the contest to roll a wheel of cheese produced at the Lischeto farm down the hill. Wielding a long wooden paddle spatula in each hand, the contestants skillfully steer the rolling wheel of cheese, bypassing the hurdles of the bales of hay,to the finish line at the bottom of the hill in the shortest possible time. The wheel of cheese, rolled down the hill, is Pecorino delle Balze Volterrane, the only Italian cheese produced exclusively with thistle rennet and raw, unpasteurized ewe’s milk from the sheep at the Lischeto farmstead. As the milk coagulates more slowly the cheese is enhanced by a creamy texture and a fragrant aroma.
On the second and third Sunday of August, the Lischeto Farm takes part in the Medieval Festival Volterra AD 1398, one of the most highly appreciated Medieval Festivals in Italy. During the festival, the historical centre of Volterra is animated with Medieval charm and visitors are transported back into the past.This is a long standing annual event that has attracted a large number of visitors for many years. The staff from the Lischeto Farm, dressed in Medieval costume, have always taken an active part in this event offering sandwiches filled with melted cheese, dishes of Tuscan cured meats highlighted by a selection of cheeses crafted on the farm. A unique opportunity to savor our produce at 0 kms.