The mechanical cow

I prefer my milk straight from the cow. When I was a child a local dairy farmer delivered fresh milk to us in a bucket. He poured the milk into bowl and when it had settled Mum would spoon the cream off the top and pour it into bottles.

I can still remember the taste…a far cry from the stuff we buy at the supermarket now. It is pasteurised, homogenised, skimmed, vitamins added etc, etc, and it no longer tastes like milk.

Luckily there is a place nearby where it is possible to buy milk straight from the dairy…the mechanical cow, or latteria as it is called.


The little hut is in the car park at the Penny Market in Borgo a Mozzano.

For 20 cents you can buy a bottle and €1 gets you a litre of fresh milk.


There is even a photo of the dairies the milk comes from.


I think it is a great idea and I have become a regular at the mechanical cow.

27 thoughts on “The mechanical cow

  1. We have had it for a few years now in the Basque Country of Spain and in a few other regions. I have one of these machines only a hundred yards away and it really tastes great. Only problem… my doctor has told me to consume non-fat dairy products only because of my cholesterol levels… So I am having disgusting “plastic” milk only…

  2. What a great idea!! Here in the States unfortunately only plastic milk, with vitamins, and God knows what else. The idea of buying fresh milk is forbidden, the government via inspectors controls production, purification and distribution. The last time I had real milk was 1957. I admire the natural product.

    • If you’re anywhere near Santa Barbara, CA, there’s someone at the Saturday farmer’s market who sells fresh unpasteurised, un-homogenised milk, and I’ve heard that a couple of other dairy farmers in the state now have licences, but I haven’t checked out where they are. You can find mechanical cows all over Italy. There might be one near you next time you visit. You can find where many of them are here: If you live near one, buy a glass bottle at an agraria and reuse it.

  3. This would be a great solution for the dairy farmers to get a better price for their milk and not be subjected to the supermarket powers here in Western Australia.

  4. You mean there isn’t a cow in the back of the shed ? There’s one in Gallicano too, the milk is gorgeous, didn’t realise how pure it was though. Thanks Debra, always informative, always interesting.

  5. Good news for anyone living in California. You might not have to wait until you’re in Italy to drink real milk. I went to the Santa Monica farmers’ market yesterday and there was a farmer selling raw milk. Their base is Fresno and the woman said you can buy their milk in many places in the States. Go to and enter your zip code on the home page to find the supplier nearest you. Heather

  6. Wow, coming from Canada I’ve never had fresh milk. It’s illegal here! We will be in the area in September, and we will be grabbing some stuff at The Penny. Now I can hardly wait to find that hut and taste real milk! Thank you for sharing this info.

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