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Follow the herd in Italy

Transhumance walks – that’s not just walking for the sake of it, but bringing a herd of sheep with you up a mountain, through villages with names like Castrovalva and Frattura Vecchia and then up over the 2,170m Monte Genzana for the last push.

But this is no brisk paced march up and over. No, the pace here is dictated by the weather and the sheep, and by who is around for a chat on the way. The night before the ramble you’ll be treated to some of the finest food that has ever passed your lips; pecorino, sweet salami made from sheep's liver, honey and stewed grapes, followed by gnocchi with ricotta and roast lamb, topped with a liver ragù, and chased down by a shot of Genziana, a bitter digestivo made from local herbs. Now you’re ready to walk a mountain.

The two-day walks are run by Marcelli, and you can find him and his flock by heading east out of Rome on the L'Aquila highway, a ribbon of asphalt on stilts that twists through tunnels and past fairytale villages clinging to the side of canyons.

This is definitely for anyone who likes to wander up stunning mountains – pausing frequently to chat, snooze and admire the view – namely animals who dawdle, drift off and stop for anything green and edible.

And it all costs a ridiculous €100 per person for everything. Check out La Porta dei Parachi, who offer transumanza walks in June and July, LaPortaDeParchi.

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