Based in the Altopiano of Sette Comuni in Veneto region, Giambattista is one of the fourth shepherd left in the area. He owns just less than 800 between sheep, goats and donkeys, and 3 dogs who are essential help managing the flock, especially during moving from one location to another. He spends two months a year, July and August, at the alpine cottage called Portule, over 2000 metres high, the lease was given to him for a period of 6 years from the council.
European funds contributions help Giambattista through the year, that and selling the livestock are his main sustenance.
Giambattista owns a basic camper van which he uses as his “home” and a small truck which uses to carry inured animals if needed.
After studying Agriculture at High school he went to work with older shepherds from his area to learn the job. Being a shepherd also means being a vet in some occasions, being able to help save an animal that had an accident or is in pain. Help sheep delivering lambs, making sure they are fed enough, or find an escamotage to trick a sheep mother in taking care of another lamb, even though it wasn’t hers.
Giambattista has always been open to take on different nationalities men, as long they are trustworthy and committed to do the job. Last Winter and in the past week an African man from Guinea, Jimmy has been helping Giambattista. For him this is not something new, his family in Africa also did farming, and he enjoys working with animals, even though his dream is to be a welder.
Jimmy came from Guinea two years ago, he left due to the continuous conflict between Mandinko and Pular ethnicity, he went to work In Libya at first, but then due to conflict there as well he decided to try to take the boat and come to Italy.
Rescued from Italian coastguards he was then sent to Veneto and spent the first year as refugee. While Jimmy is waiting for his permission to remain, he prefers to take on different job instead of wasting his time waiting without doing anything.