The Belìce valley

  The Belìce Valley belongs to western Sicily, at the intersection between the provinces of Palermo, Trapani and Agrigento.
In these lands the Belìce river flows for 77 km. Where the two branches, right Belìce and left Belìce join, the Belìce valley is born.
The Belìce river flows along the valley through a variegated and heterogeneous territory, encountering crops of wheat, olive trees and vines in contrast to sandy soils, palm trees and thermal waters.
  The lands of the Valle del Belìce evoke an ancient history that saw the flourishing of the Sican and Phoenician civilization first, then the Hellenic and Roman civilization.
These territories are a source of natural wealths. Here the Vastedda della Valle del Belìce PDO is produced, from autochtonous sheep breedings and agro-food production, in the land of the Gattopardo, where a unique cheese of its kind is born.

As stated in the production specifications, all the raw materials are obtained within this area, the intent of its prescriptions is clearly to make tradition and the bond with the territory prevail over all.
  Belìce, derives from the Arabic name of the ancient castle Bil'ch or Belìch, located on the confluence of the two branches of the river. These are the origins of the name of the watercourse that runs through the homonymous valley.

However, few correctly pronounce the grave accent placed on Belìce's ì. Not surprisingly, the inhabitants of the area call the river lu Bilìci, always with an accent on the second vowel.

The contamination of the incorrect pronunciation took place at the time of the 1968 earthquake by the media. Televisions and newspapers have contributed to the transformation of the historic Belìce denomination into the flat and atonic wording Belice ...
 Pasture and its botanical composition consisting of legumes, grasses and crucifers, influence the dairy production by modifying their chemical and aromatic composition.
Furthermore, the method of preparation of the rennet transfers to the cheese an enzymatic patrimony that develops aromas and flavors that are not found in other spun pasta cheeses.
The territory dedicated to the production of Vastedda cheese in the Belìce valley is characterized by brown calcareous soils, lithosols, regosuoli and vertisuoli and by natural and cultivated pastures rich in spontaneous essences and local ecotypes, which characterize the quality and composition of the milk, giving the finished product its particular fresh sweet flavor with slightly acidic veins.
The climatic factors of the production area, in consideration of the latitude and the particular orography, are different compared to other areas of Sicily, in fact the average annual temperature is about 16 ° C, with a minimum of 9 ° C (in some years temperatures close to 0 ° C) and a maximum of 35 ° C were recorded.