Sopravissana Sheep Characteristics & Breed Information

The Sopravissana sheep is a breed of domestic sheep from Italy. It is actually from the province of Macerata, in the Marche in central Italy. It is also known as Upper Visso. It was originated from the area of the comuni of Visso, from which the name derives. The breed was developed from the cross-breeding of local Apennine ewes with Merino rams in the second half of the eighteenth century, and also with Rambouillet Merino stock. The breed was traditionally raised mostly in it’s native area. And the herds of Sopravissana sheep under transhumant management ranged into Lazio, Tuscany and Umbria.

The breed is larger than the Vissana sheep breed which is also from the same area. The Sopravissana sheep breed is one of the 17 autochthonous Italian sheep breeds for which a genealogical herdbook is kept by the Associazione Nazionale della Pastorizia. The Associazione Nazionale della Pastorizia is the Italian national association of sheep-breeders. In the year of 1960, total population of these breed was about 1,200,000, and about 765,000 in 1970. And their total number had fallen to about 6000 animals by 1995. And total number of these animals were 5699 in the year of 2013. Read more information about this breed below.

Sopravissana Sheep Characteristics

Sopravissana sheep is a medium sized animal. It is mainly white in coloration with white face. The rams are horned and the ewes are usually polled.

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Average live body weight of the Sopravissana rams is about 66 kg. And average live body weight of the mature ewes is about 50 kg. Photo and info from Petmapz and Wikipedia.


Sopravissana sheep are dual purpose animals. They are raised for both meat and milk production.

Special Notes

The Sopravissana sheep were originated from Vissana crossed with Spanish Merino and Rambouillet. The Australian and American Merinos were also used for additional improvement of the breed. The breed is good for both meat and milk production. But it is raised mainly for milk production in it’s native area. Currently total population of this breed has reduced. However, review full breed profile of the Sopravissana sheep in the chart below.

Sopravissana Sheep | Breed Profile

Breed Name Sopravissana
Other Name Upper Visso
Breed Purpose Meat and milk
Special Notes Well adapted to the local climates, good for quality meat production, good for producing milk
Breed Size Medium
Weight 50 to 66 kg
Horns Rams are horned, but the ewes are polled
Climate Tolerance Native climates
Color White
Rarity Common
Country/Place of Origin Italy

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