One hundred years of history

The Saottini family consisted of the grandfather Cesare and his wife Maria (both born in 1884) and Cesare’s four brothers. This traditional farming family came from Botticino in the province of Brescia, and moved into the Monte Mario farmhouse in Lonato in the San Polo district in the early 1900s, to continue their work as tenant farmers.

Cesare and his brothers were called up during the First World War. In 1917 Maria discovered that if she rented the farmhouse Cesare could obtain leave to run the business. Even though she had four small children (Augusta born in 1909, Angelo in 1911, Mario in 1913 and Enrico in1914), Maria was determined, and so she rented the farmhouse in Tugurio in the district of Maguzzano.

Cesare comes back from the war

Cesare came back from the war in 1917 and their fifth child Agnese was born in 1919.
He then enlisted the help of a few workers who were too old to be called up, and with two oxen and a horse they started to plough the land around the house, planting the first few plots of grapevines and establishing the farm’s business.

The children married – Augusta to Filippo, Angelo to Angela, Mario to Giovanna (our parents, in 1937), Enrico to Rosa and Agnese to Aldo. The three sons and their wives continued the business started by Cesare – growing grapes, in addition to cereals and fodder in order to breed calves and cows. Horses provided invaluable support when working the fields as did the oxen.

1942 saw the purchase of the first tractor – a used petroleum Fordson. Cesare died on 21 April 1951 and in September of that year his three sons decided to buy another tractor, a new L25 Landini.
The years passed and the family carried on farming together, then in 1960 two of the sons started their own business while Mario stayed on in the family business.

In 1963 Mario and Giovanna sacrificed a lot to buy a new Forward Super Major tractor with higher engine power (55 horsepower), which the Saottini family still owns.
Mario and Giovanna had four children, Lorenzo, Silvano and twins Loredana and Cesare.

Life on the farm continued, revolving around work, school and the local parish. The family was always happy to welcome friends and family, creating fond memories of days such as that of Loredana and Cesare’s First Holy Communion (seen in the photo with their maternal grandparents, friends and the parish priest Father Luigi Piovan). Even at that time Cesare was already very active in parish life in Maguzzano.
From the 1950s onwards the family participated in thanksgiving festivals with their own equipment – tractors were blessed by the priest after Mass – and in December 1964 the Ford Super Major received its first blessing.

In January 1970 on the feast day of Sant’Antonio Abate, a competition was organised in Lonato to judge the best-decorated tractor – the Saottini family won first prize!
Mario continued to run the business with dedication and commitment.
After our parents died in 2002 the farming business continued to be run by Silvano and Cesare.
The Saottini business has expanded even further since 2010 as a result of the increasingly proactive presence of Cesare’s son Daniele who, thanks to his Father, Grandfather Mario and Uncle Silvano, has inherited this passion and feels the same dedication and commitment to the business.
We often think of Granny Maria with love and affection, who coped with life and the difficulties her family faced in very difficult times with great courage.