About

It all started

with Lorenzo’s Bisnonna (great grandmother)


Once upon a time… Not far from the Osteria Testolin in the center of the village, was located a “Casolino” (Italian word for a country house) called “Catina Bottega” from the name of the lady who ran/managed it. The local families, almost all farmers, could buy everything that were unable to produce by theirselves like salt, sugar, tobacco …

The most well-off families could also buy oil, tomato paste (the Italian famous “concentrato Mutti”) and the “mixture Leone” to make “good coffee”. Usually grandmothers used to roast barley on the fireplace to make an hot beverage similar to coffee.

Ancient traditions

The importance of barter


To comply the abstinence from meat on Fridays, people used to consumed tuna or mackerel, preserved in large tins and sold from “Catina Bottega”. On Thursdays there was also the salt cod (dry and wet), which distinctive smell wafted throughout the store. Purchases were rarely paid in cash: frequently the “barter” with eggs took place. Set the price of two, according to the market trend, the exchange occurred with essential goods.

Outside the “Casolin” there was a prominently tin sign, mounted on the wall with nails, with the written “Olio di Semi” (vegetable oil). It was a product Made during the war, it had become an high demand product because it was cheap and replaced the olive oil, too expensive, used only in case of illness, as well as for “good coffee”.

Ancient traditions

The importance of barter


To comply the abstinence from meat on Fridays, people used to consumed tuna or mackerel, preserved in large tins and sold from “Catina Bottega”. On Thursdays there was also the salt cod (dry and wet), which distinctive smell wafted throughout the store. Purchases were rarely paid in cash: frequently the “barter” with eggs took place. Set the price of two, according to the market trend, the exchange occurred with essential goods.

Outside the “Casolin” there was a prominently tin sign, mounted on the wall with nails, with the written “Olio di Semi” (vegetable oil). It was a product Made during the war, it had become an high demand product because it was cheap and replaced the olive oil, too expensive, used only in case of illness, as well as for “good coffee”.

The story continues today

From Vicenza to Brisbane


The other sign outside was for “Sale e Tabacchi – Monopolio di Stato” (Salt and Tobacco – State Monopoly). Inside the “Casolin” there was a large cool marble container for the salt. Children used to stole few grains to annoy the Catina. Above the salt container, hanging on the wall, there was a big picture of the Sacro Cuore (a very important iconographic Catholic representation) and below, a sign that says “Qui non si bestemmia!” (Do not blaspheme here!).

Today. In recent years the population go out of the district for shopping in large supermarkets and shopping centers in the area. The building of “Catina Bottega” is closed for more than 30 years: it appears to be falling, carrying scents, smells and memories of many generations lived in “Contrà Costa” (Costa suburb).