Four semi-hard Italian goats' milk cheeses, Flor di Capra (FC), Caprino di Cavalese (CC), Caprino di Valsassina (CV) and Capritilla (C), were compared for compositional, microbiological, biochemical, volatile profile and sensory characteristics. Mean values for the gross composition in part differed between cheeses. At the end of ripening, cheeses contained 7·98−8·51 log10 cfu/g of non-starter lactic acid bacteria. Lactobacillus paracasei, Lb. casei and Lb. plantarum were dominant in almost all cheeses. As shown by the Principal Component Analysis of RP-FPLC data for the pH 4·6-soluble fractions and by the determination of free amino acids, secondary proteolysis of CC and CV mainly differed from the other two cheeses. A total of 72 volatile components were identified by steam distillation-extraction followed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Free fatty acids and esters qualitatively and quantitatively differentiated the profile of CV and CC, respectively. The lowest concentrations of volatile components characterized FC. Descriptive sensory analysis using 17 flavour attributes was carried out by a trained panel. Different flavour attributes distinguished the four goats' cheeses and relationships were found with volatile components, biochemical characteristics and technology.