Baita (pl. baite) is a Piedmontese and Lombard term used to refer to small dwellings of the Italian Alps and Apennines. They are usually constructed with dry-stone walls, although wood may also be used, and are typically roofed with substantial stone slabs known as piodi which provide protection from heavy winter snowfalls. The wood and stone baite of the Val di Susa—for instance in the hamlet of Rhuilles—are known as grange.
Baite are often clustered together in Alpine pastures where they are occupied seasonally by herders tending sheep, cattle or goats during the summer (transhumance). In recent years abandoned baite, restored with varying degrees of respect, have also become popular as second homes and, to an extent, as holiday homes.
Scialpinismo in Valtellina – Glossario (Italian)
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