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Chianina - cow and calf- Italy

(most common name)
(transboundary/brand name)

The Chianina, a Podolian breed, is the largest cattle breed in the world characterized by a large torso length, a light skeleton, and long legs.

The Chianina, one of the oldest and most important breeds of Italy, can be traced back to Roman times. The name ‘Chianina’ comes from its breeding area of Val di Chiana (Valley of Chiana, Chiana Valley) — which is mostly hilly.

The Chianina began as a dual-purpose breed. The Etruscans and the Romans used them for food, for showing off in triumphal parades, and for sacrifices to the gods. Today, they are selected primarily for meat (especially being used for steaks ‘alla fiorentina’).

Varieties of the Chianina include:
Calvana (nearly extinct)
• Pasturina (extinct)
• Perugina (extinct)
• Val di Chiana (extinct)
• Valdarno (extinct)

Podolian cattle breeds have calves born with a fawn to reddish coat that turns grey or white after about five months of maturing.

The white Podolian breeds of Italy are larger and also have more muscle and shorter horns than other Podolians.

This page was last updated on: 2023-08-11

You can also go to:

My Daily Cow® Italy and read about other Italian cattle breeds.

The Cow Wall® A-Z Cattle Breed Picture Reference to see other breeds of cattle in the world.