The ancient and crucial practice of transhumance resists in the present alongside and despite the increasing spread of industrial and sedentary breeding. At the same time it is also 'heritagizised' as a tourist issue with all the aspects of ambivalence and the precautions that this entails.
Pastoralism is one of the most diffused and ancient forms of human subsistence. In the last decades, nonetheless, sheep and cattle breeding has been transformed or influenced by processes of modernisation, mechanization and intensive milk/meat/wool production. This has implied sometimes a transformation of the practices, a certain shift in the knowledge transmission. Nonetheless in many European countries transhumance still resists as an efficient form of breeding and as characteristic form of shaping landscape. Because of this 'heritage-turn', we are assisting on the one hand to the growth of 'slow-move' tourism in pastoral areas, to a regeneration of pastoral landscape, of marketing of the territories and products. On the other hand we also note the maintenance or a new interest in traditional pastoralism, considered more sustainable, healthy and respectful of the environment, of animals and people. Many researches are documenting the increasing presence of new shepherds/breeders in different European regions, 'return shepherds', engaged in a new awareness about the opportunity of maintaining and revitalizing transhumant pastoralism and the production of related traditional cheeses, meats and wool. Thus, pastoral routes and communities can represent today a powerful resource for local development and for cultural landscape safeguard. An ancient and traditional 'world of life' that resists the wear and tear of time and late modernity by re-discovering and rediscovering itself in the light of contemporary ecological, animal and community sensibilities.