History of a Veneto family

Notarial deed

The brothers GioBatta, Bortolo and Giovanni Poli, when still living in San Luca, at an unspecified moment in the late 19th century began a new activity of selling wine, fruit, straw hats and “other products”.
A profitable business, undertaken with courage and far-sightedness, even at the cost of hard work, due above all to constant travel and transfers,

<< 15th January 1885

Notarial deed by which the wife of GioBatta Poli, Maria Moresco, acquired a house and land in Schiavon where the activity carried on in hills of Via Costadema was to be transferred. Other property acquisitions of adjoining property were to follow in subsequent years, under the name of GioBatta Poli. (Notarial Archives of Vicenza)


that considerably improved their economic condition, to the point where on several occasions the Poli brothers carried on the money lending service at more than affordable rates for the borrowers, at a time when there were still only a few banks and when the effects of the agricultural crisis were still felt, and which often forced entire families to emigrate to America.

The decision of GioBatta Poli (1846-1921) to move to Schiavon dates back to 15th January 1885, when his wife Maria Moresco acquired

<< Emigration

The agricultural crisis at the end of the 19th century often forced entire families to emigrate from Veneto to America. This was also the case for several members of the Poli family.

The territory of Schiavon

seven map numbers including house and land, situated in the northern part of the municipal territory of Schiavon; other property acquisitions followed in the subsequent years, this time under the name of the purchaser GioBatta Poli.

Regarding the reason for this move, it must be remembered that his cousins Maria and Anna Trecco, the daughters of his deceased aunt Angela Poli, lived in Schiavon. But probably the decision was based on the particular position of Schiavon,

<< The territory of Schiavon

Detail of the territory of Schiavon, showing the place where Distillerie Poli stands today. State Archive of Bassano, map of 1809, Commune of Schiavon.

1910: inauguration of the “Vaca Mora”

a town in the Vicenza highlands and located in a strategic area, a few kilometres from Marostica along the Marosticana road with its heavy traffic of coaches and which at that time was expected to take the steam tram of the Bassano-Vicenza-Montagnana line (the famous “Vaca mora”).

Therefore the town seemed ideal for an activity of the industrial or commercial type; the latter in particular was immediately put into practice, since that a tavern had already been opened in 1892:

<< 1910: inauguration of the “Vaca Mora”

The inaugural stop in Marostica of the “Vaca Mora”, the steam-tram of the Vicenza-Bassano line, operating up until the period after the Second World War

GioBatta Poli (1846-1921)

the activity previously carried on in San Luca was therefore transferred to Schiavon.

Soon GioBatta was to add an industrial activity to the profitable occupation of merchant: in fact, in 1898 he decided to start distilling “vinaccia”, the grape-marc, to produce Grappa, as the necessary raw material was readily available, thanks to the continuous contacts with wine producers.

<< 1898: Poli Grappa

After 12 years of selling wine, GioBatta Poli (1846-1921) decided to engage in his big passion: good Grappa.

The still

In the meantime he even made his contribution to local administration, firstly as a town councillor of Schiavon and then, from 1899 to 1902, as an alderman alongside the mayor GioBatta Boschetti.

<< The still

The Poli Distillerie’s still in a picture taken in the early 20th century. The grape-marc arrived in the distillery and was put by hand in the three cauldrons by means of wicker baskets. A task that required much physical exertion.