Milan cascine open days

Over 30 of the 60 working public cascine in and around Milan will be open to visitors the weekend 21-22 Sept. The farmers and community associations which keep them open and productive will offer guided tours, workshops, games, refreshments and meat and vegetables produced on the spot.

Events will include a demonstration of milking and processing the milk to cheese, dog training and communication, traditional music and dances, and an open grill to barbecue meat produced on the farm and bought right there.

The associations have been active for years to preserve these historic buildings, focal points of social life and traditions in the country. Cascine, reports Wikipedia, typically include houses (usually a main house for the family of the farm owner or tenant, and simpler buildings for the peasants' families), stables, barns, pits and fountains, ovens, stores, mills and dairies.

As most cascine were isolated, semi-autonomous settlements, with sometimes as many as one hundred inhabitants, many of them included public buildings such as churches, inns, or even schools. This typical Lombard multi-family farmstead is built in a square around a courtyard.

A full list of the cascine taking part in the open-day weekend, listing the events organised for visitors, is available here, while on this page there are details of how to reach them on public transport.

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