The Piovesan family

The following information about the Piovesan family has been compiled from interviews and family archives.

Angelo Piovesan was one of four sons in a family who emigrated from Ponzano Veneto in the Veneto region. Three sons migrated to Australia: Angelo arrived in Adelaide in 1927, Attilio in 1937and Mario in 1950. The fourth brother, Leono, went to Venezuela in 1949. Two other siblings, Giuseppe and Amelia remained in Ponzano Veneto.

Angelo was one of the Veneto pioneer market gardeners on Frogmore Road at Kidman Park. He also spent time working at the Spotted Tiger mica mine in the Northern Territory with other Veneto men.

Rosalia Zanatta and Angelo Piovesan, wedding photo, Adelaide, 1934

Bruno Piovesan provided details about his father and mother in the interview he recorded for the project in 2008:

My parents were born in a place called Ponzano Veneto, that’s about twenty‑five kilometres from Venice, very close to Treviso, and my father came to Australia at the age of 22 – he was born in 1905, 4th December 1905. He came to Australia in 1927.  After seven years of working in Australia, my mother, [Rosalia Zanatta] which he knew as a fiancée in Italy, could not afford her fare to Australia, so she virtually had to find her own money to come to Australia. She came to Australia in 1934 …

Angelo and Rosalia both came from very poor peasant farming families. Their second son, Dino, interviewed in 2011 explains the poverty:

The family ground, whatever hectares it may have been, was simply for family sustenance from one year … I remember them saying that if they were lucky and they had one or two or three cows in the stable, a cow would have had a calf, and that would have been sold, and that would have been a little bit of extra money for the family. But other than that, it was for the family sustenance from one year to the other, with wheat and maize, and of course the grapes and the wine.

Piovesan and Tonellato families Frogmore Road, c 1938/39 Rosalia and Angelo second & third from left in the back.
Dino Piovesan, Veneto market gardeners event 2013 (holding window from the Tonellato train carriage)

Angelo and Rosalia had three sons, Nillo, Dino and Bruno. Bruno recalls the Piovesan market garden from his childhood and describes how his father worked:

… they used to make a good living out of 12 glasshouses, he used to make a good living just with twelve glasshouses. Had about five acres of land in those years and he used to plant potatoes and other type of beans and things like that – I remember sowing beans and all this business. And you had to dig potatoes virtually with a fork to start with, then they had a plough – all horse-drawn, there was no machinery, just all horse-drawn – and I very vividly remember digging glasshouses by hand fork, you had to dig the glasshouses with a hand fork, till the age of about 16 or 18. 

Bruno Piovesan – Veneto market gardeners exhibition, 2011

Angelo Piovesan died suddenly in 1949, aged 43 years and Rosalia maintained the market gardens with assistance from Attilio, Angelo’s younger brother. The three sons who were then aged 14, 13 and 12 years also worked in the gardens. Parts of the family land were sold in the 1960s and Nillo and Dino developed a market garden at Bolivar for some years. Rosalia died in 1985. Nillo died in 2011, and Bruno, in 2014.

Madeleine Regan
17 May 2020

A causa della situazione di Covid-19, non e’ stato possibile tradurre il blog in italiano.

Memories of my father’s working life

This is a guest post from Aida Innocente whose parents were well-known to the Veneto market gardeners in Adelaide.

My father Angelo Innocente arrived in Australia in June 1950. He was born in Caselle (PV Treviso) in 1921. His maternal uncle, Pietro Compostella, sponsored him.

Angelo Innocente, Lockleys, c1951

Dad left behind my mother Elsa and their three year-old daughter, Mirella, with his family. Mum and Mirella arrived in November 1952. I was born in 1955. Dad lived in White Avenue, Lockleys from the beginning, and he and Mum only left five months before his death in February 2012.

Mirella, Elsa, Aida Innocente, Lockleys, c 1957








Dad initially worked at Peter Shearer’s on Port Road and then at Kelvinator’s. At night he worked for Harold Dare who owned a factory on White Avenue that made half-cases. Harold’s mother was Chinese and his father, Australian. His nephews lived next-door to my family in the early days.

Harold Dare, Lockleys, early 1970s

After leaving Kelvinator’s, Dad worked for Harold full-time. When Dad decided to go into business with Emilio Loro, a Veneto from Loria, Harold lent him money to set up business – in competition with him!  My father always remained in contact with Harold even after he moved into a nursing home.

Dad and Emilio established AE (Angelo & Emilio) Case Company in the late ‘50s on Grange Road, Flinders Park on a property owned by the Berno family. The factory was an old shed. They made half-cases for packing tomatoes and crates for celery and made up to 1,000 half-cases a day. I loved going to the Grange Road property and I played in an abandoned house. In front of the house sprawled a glorious peppercorn tree. The smell of peppercorns always takes me back to this time.

Fourth from left: Elsa, Angelo, (holding white handkerchief) & Aida Innocente, departing for a holiday in Italy 1964. (Photo taken by Fr Silvano)

The boxes were mainly made of pine. The pine logs came from the South East and Mount Compass. Dad often collected the logs from Mount Compass. He and Mum would often do this after tea. One night, Mirella and I sat on the front porch waiting for their return. The freeway hadn’t been built and the roads in the Adelaide hills were narrow and winding. They returned after midnight. Dad had run out of petrol!

Sometimes after school I went with Dad to Bolivar, Virginia, St Kilda to deliver boxes. One afternoon we stopped to inspect the pig Dad had bought from a client at Waterloo Corner for the yearly salami making. Checking on the pig’s growth was part of the ritual. Dad immediately recognised his chosen pig in a pen full of pigs! He was very particular about how the pig (never a sow) was reared and fed.

In the early ‘70s Dad and Milio built a factory on Azalea Drive Lockleys, on the Torrens. When Milio decided to leave, Mum became Dad’s new partner. They worked together till they retired in 1981. Carton boxes had arrived and Dad did not want to start again.

Aida and Angelo Innocente, Lockleys, late 1960s

Mum and Dad’s good friend, Sila Bottin, worked with them for several years. The three often made deliveries after work. For dinner they would have a steak and onion sandwich from the food truck at the Cavan Hotel on Port Wakefield Road. The Cavan was referred to as the “Abattoz” (the Abattoirs was across the road). A beer always washed down the sandwich.

Over January and February in 1976, when I was 20, my parents visited family in Argentina, Brazil and Italy. Tomato season was over but the Mercuri on Findon Road had a celery crop to market. Sila and I made the celery crates and I got a learner’s licence to drive the truck to deliver them. My Santolo, Vittorio Marchioro sat next to me as the licensed driver!

My Dad had clients from all over Italy and other parts of Europe. As a child I remember these clients – Calabrians, Neapolitans, Bulgarians, Slavs, Greeks – dropping in to our home before Christmas to settle their accounts. Dad always made sure he had plenty of beer on hand. His clients brought fresh produce as gifts. I now look upon these Christmas visits as a great symbol of the meaning of Christmas – peace and harmony to all men of all lands and faiths.

Aida Innocente
3 May 2020

A causa della situazione di Covid-19, non è stato possibile tradurre il blog in italiano


The Rebuli family of Bigolino

On behalf of all subscribers I send best wishes to families in Italy.
We are saddened and shocked about COVID-19 in Italy and hope that the situation improves for everyone.

Information for this blog has been gathered from interviews, relatives and archival research in Bigolino

Brunone, (Bruno) was the seventh of eight children born to Bortolo Rebuli and Teodora Vettoretti who were contadini or peasant farmers in Bigolino in the province of Treviso. They grew small crops of wheat and corn and grapes. Bruno was born 23 October 1893 in Bigolino, Province of Treviso.  After limited schooling, he worked on the land with his family. During World War I he had served in the army corps of the Alpini (Italian mountain troops).

Dorina, Giovanna, Elvio, Vito, Bigolino c1925

In 1922 Bruno married Giovanna (Nana) Rossetto and they had three children, Dorina, Albino and Elvio. Bruno migrated in 1927 with three of his brothers-in-law because of poverty and the difficulties of living in Fascist Italy. Another brother-in-law, Domenico Rossetto who had arrived in Adelaide in 1926, nominated him.  It was the Depression and Bruno took work where he could get it, including for a farmer on Kangaroo Island.  In 1931 he sent for Nana and the three children aged 8, 7 and 6 years. By that time, he was living on Frogmore Road and worked glasshouses on the corner of Frogmore and Valetta Roads. Guido, the youngest child, was born in Adelaide in 1938.

Guido & Brunone Rebuli, Adelaide c 1946
Rebuli family, Adelaide c 1947 Back: Elvio, Nana Front: Dorina, Guido, Vito

When Bruno died in 1947, the two older brothers, Albino and Elvio continued to work the market gardens for several years. Albino (Vito) married Antonietta Danieli in 1962 and they had two children. Elvio (Shorty) married Milva Zampin in 1952 and they had eight children. Guido married Pam Vining in 1965 and they had three daughters.

After the war, the Rebuli family welcomed Bruno’s nephews, Richetto and Teodoro and their families, and a niece, Ginevra. In 1949, Nana sponsored Bruno’s nephew, Teodoro who was followed a year later by his wife, Amabile and their son Giovanni (Johnny) aged 2 years.

Amabile & Teodoro, Angelo Caon, daughter Cosetta & Ginevra, Eti & Richetto. Children in front Johnny, & cousins, Rosanna & Bruno, Adelaide 1954

In 1950 Nana also sponsored Teodoro’s brother Richetto who was joined six months later by his wife Eti and their two children, Bruno and Rosanna. The two families were closely connected: Eti and Amabile were sisters who had married brothers, Richetto and Teodoro. Johnny returned to Italy in 1967 and his parents, Amabile and Teodoro followed. Ginevra married Angelo Caon from Loria (Treviso) and settled in Adelaide where they had 3 children: Cosetta, Angelo and Ivan.

The Rebuli family remained in close contact with their Rossetto cousins. In their interviews Johnny and Maria Rosa Tormena and Lena and Aldo Rossetto recall visiting the Rebuli family on Frogmore Road. In the 1960s the Rebuli family bought a mixed business on Grange Road and Guido collected orders and delivered groceries to local Italian families.

Nana died in 1977. Dorina died in 1996, Elvio died in 1997 and Albino, in 2007. Teodoro died in 1990 and Amabile in 2016. Richetto and Eti continue to live in Adelaide.

Richetto & Eti Rebuli, Adelaide 2019

You can read more about the Rebuli family on the web pages by watching the video with Elena Rebuli: and listening to interviews with Enrico (Richetto) Rebuli, Guido Rebuli, Giovanni (Johnny) Rebuli, Milva Rebuli nee Zampin. Also there are interviews with cousins: Aldo Rossetto, Bruna Rossetto nee Battaglia, Lena Moscheni nee Rossetto, Giovanni (Johnny) Tormena, and Maria Rosa Tormena.

Thank you to Johnny Rebuli for the Italian translation.

A nome di tutti gli abbonati invio i miei migliori auguri alle famiglie in Italia. Siamo rattristati e scioccati dal COVID-19 in Italia e
speriamo che la situazione migliori per tutti.  

La famiglia Rebuli di Bigolino

Le informazioni per questo blog sono state raccolte da interviste, i parenti
e ricerche d’archivio a Bigolino.

Brunone, (Bruno) era il settimo di otto figli nati da Bortolo Rebuli e Teodora Vettoretti che erano contadini a Bigolino in provincia di Treviso. Coltivavano piccoli raccolti di grano, mais e uva. Bruno nacque il 23 ottobre 1893 a Bigolino, in provincia di Treviso. Dopo una scolarizzazione limitata, ha lavorato sulla terra con la sua famiglia. Durante la prima guerra mondiale aveva prestato servizio militare nel corpo degli Alpini.

Dorina, Giovanna, Elvio, Vito, Bigolino c1925

Nel 1922 Bruno sposò Giovanna (Nana) Rossetto ed ebbero tre figli, Dorina, Albino ed Elvio. Bruno emigrò nel 1927 con tre dei suoi cognati a causa della povertà e delle difficoltà di vivere nell’Italia fascista. Un altro cognato, Domenico Rossetto, arrivato ad Adelaide nel 1926, gli fece da garante. C’era la depressione e per i primi due o tre anni Bruno lavorò laddove poteva, anche per un contadino su Kangaroo Island. Nel 1931 mandò a chiamare Nana e i tre bambini di 8, 7 e 6 anni. A quel tempo viveva su Frogmore Road e lavorava serre all’angolo tra Frogmore e Valetta Roads. Guido, il bambino più piccolo, è nato ad Adelaide nel 1938.

Guido & Brunone Rebuli, Adelaide c 1946
Rebuli family, Adelaide c 1947 B: Elvio, Nana F: Dorina, Guido, Vito








Alla morte di Bruno nel 1947, i due fratelli maggiori, Albino ed Elvio, continuarono a lavorare nelle serre per diversi anni.

Dopo la guerra, la famiglia Rebuli accolse i nipoti di Bruno, Richetto e Teodoro e le loro famiglie e una nipote, Ginevra. Nel 1949, Nana sponsorizzò il nipote di Bruno, Teodoro, che fu seguito un anno dopo dalla moglie Amabile e dal figlio Giovanni (Johnny) di 2 anni.

Amabile & Teodoro, Angelo Caon, daughter Cosetta & Ginevra, Eti & Richetto. Children in front Johnny, & cousins, Rosanna & Bruno, Adelaide 1954

Nel 1950 Nana sponsorizzò anche il fratello di Teodoro, Richetto, che fu raggiunto sei mesi dopo da sua moglie Eti e dai loro due figli, Bruno e Rosanna. Le due famiglie erano legate strettamente: Eti e Amabile erano sorelle che avevano sposato i fratelli, Richetto e Teodoro.

Giovanni (Johnny) tornò in Italia nel 1967 e i suoi genitori, Teodoro e Amabile, seguirono nel 1968. Ginevra si è sposata con Angelo Caon, originario di Loria (Treviso) e si sono stabiliti ad Adelaide con 3 figli: Cosetta, Angelo e Ivan.

La famiglia Rebuli rimase in stretto contatto con i loro cugini Rossetto. Nelle loro interviste Johnny e Maria Rosa Tormena e Lena e Aldo Rossetto ricordano di aver visitato la famiglia Rebuli in Frogmore Road. Negli anni ’60 la famiglia Rebuli acquistò un’attività mista su Grange Road e Guido raccolse ordini e consegnò generi alimentari a famiglie italiane locali. Nana morì nel 1977. Teodoro morì nel 1990 e Amabile nel 2016. Richetto ed Eti continuano a vivere ad Adelaide.

Richetto & Eti Rebuli, Adelaide 2019

Puoi leggere di più sulla famiglia Rebuli guardando il video di Elena Rebuli: o ascoltando le interviste di Enrico (Richetto) Rebuli, Guido Rebuli, Giovanni (Johnny) Rebuli,  Milva Rebuli nee Zampin e con i cugini: Aldo Rossetto, Bruna Rossetto nee Battaglia, Lena Moscheni nee Rossetto, Giovanni (Johnny) Tormena, Maria Rosa Tormena, .

Grazie a Johnny Rebuli per la traduzione italiana.