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It is said that Milan was founded by the Gallic captain Belloveso, in the place where he had found a semi-nurtured sow. In 623 BC the Gauls crossed the Alps with the intention of conquering northern Italy. A Gallic captain named Belloveso decided to found a new city. After consulting an oracle, the response was to build it in the place where it had found a sow with its back covered in wool. The business seemed impossible: where to look for such an animal? Maybe he didn't believe it either, but one day the relay came back with news, the rumors chased each other, something had been found. Suddenly, in front of the group of soldiers a vast clearing surrounded by trees with two rivers that flowed nearby opened; in the middle of the field a pig with half his body covered in wool was grazing quietly. The exhausting search was over: Milan was founded there and the fur sow became its symbol. Even today it is possible to admire a bas-relief depicting the animal, found in 1233 during the excavations for the construction of the Arengario, on the second arch of the Palazzo della Ragione in via Mercanti.
This is one of the two main legends about the birth of Milan.
The Milanese breed is described as follows by Cassella 1880: Larger structure and build than the Piedmontese breeds. Rather long head, wide, long and hanging ears. reddish skin covered with long and black bristles folded on the body, they are often dappled with white, on the head, ears and neck or on the trunk and extremities.
More rustic and thin in body than the Milanese. Muzzle more pointed, back more convex longer bristles (Mascheroni 1927).
Notable for length and beautiful shapes (almost horizontal back). Ordinarily black but there is no lack of piebald, uniform length bristles (Mascheroni 1927).
Valtellina or Samolaco
Small size black pig with hanging ears, accompanied the herds of Alpine Brown cows in the pastures, while it was housed in makeshift pigs in winter (also disappeared from Switzerland).
By Dr. Alessio Zanon Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of Parma - R.A.R.E.