The aim of this study was to evaluate the variations of protein, casein, saturated (SFA), unsaturated (UFA), monounsaturated (MUFA), polyunsaturated (PUFA) fatty acids contents and cheese yield in the milk of two groups of Italian Brown cows conventionally reared in indoor period of housing or consuming pasture during the summer months in 2008 and 2013. Milk components were obtained from samples collected during the national routine (conventionally reared) and ‘extraordinary’ (pasture period) milk recording scheme in herds located near Sondrio (Lombardia, Italy). Milk samples were processed with the MilkoScanTM FT6000 for the identification of milk casein, SFA, UFA, MUFA and PUFA composition. The groups were analysed separately per year and the environmental factors affecting milk protein, casein, and fatty acids contents (pasture/indoor, parity, data of sampling, days in milk, days from collection to analysis) were included in the MIXED procedure of SAS 9.3. A total of 778 milk samples were available, including 234 records from indoor and 544 observations from pasture feeding. Pasture intake affected the content of casein (%) and the proportion of fat in milk (g/100 g), enhancing milk casein levels (from 2·90 to 3) and reducing the concentration of milk SFA in milk from grazing cows (from 2·29 to 1·92). Additionally, the cheese yield was calculated as ‘kg of cheese per 100 kg of milk’ and resulted to be 10·4 and 12 in 2008 from milk of cows reared indoor and with pasture based diet, respectively. The dairy industry should take advantage of the milk production during grazing periods from which high quality products may be obtained.