This is the only autochthonous breed from Lombardia: its origin is around the Apennines situated in five regions, Lombardia, Emilia, Toscana, Liguria and Piedmont.
Today it is at serious risk of extinction. Probably it reached Italy following the barbarians during the sixth century. Actually it is known that the Longobards had brought dark golden red coated cattle into the Po Valley in the sixth century.
Since 1985 the Registry Office of autochthonous cattle breeds and ethnic groups of limited diffusion has been founded, in order to protect those Italian cattle breeds at risk of extinction and to safeguard this genetic heritage. Among them there are the following breeds: Agerolese, Bianca Val Padana (Modenese), Burlina, Cabannina, Calvana, Cinisara, Garfagnina, Modicana, Mucca Pisana, Pezzata Rossa d’Oropa, Pinzgau, Pontremolese, Pustertaler, Reggiana, Sarda, Sardo-Modicana, Varzese.
The coat is dark golden red, quite small height.
Rustic and long lived, mainly suitable to labour with modest quality milk and meat.
Varzese or Tortonese - Cow (photo www.agraria.org)
Varzese or Tortonese - Cow
Varzese or Tortonese - Bull