In 1904, grandfather Crivelli handed his family transportation business down to his grandson Battista Baroni. Transportation then was by horse drawn carriages.
Battista Baroni, born in 1881, took over the business of transportation of people and goods in the early 1900s from a “Crivelli ” : his own grandfather.
Early historical documents show that 1904 was the year that official transportation started in the region, particularly in Malcantone, in Lugano, and the surrounding areas of Lombardy and Piedmont.
Battista had also been awarded a contract with the Postal Services of Ponte Tresa – Fornasette, which he carried out until the advent of motor transport. At the same time, his stables – which could accommodate a dozen horses – were also running well. 1914 saw the start of a collaboration between Mr. Baroni and the brewery “Lugano”, which was managed by the Bossi family.
Exempted from military service (he had flat feet) Battista devoted his energies to work, distributing beer in public places, from Lugano to Sessa. His wife Amalia (of the Tettamanti family- Ponte Tresa, Italy) contributed greatly to the development of the company, while still taking care of their four children: Ettore, Bice, Nino and Bernardino.
Amalia was involved in transportation in the surrounding area and also took care of the business’ accounting.
In 1919 after completing compulsory schooling, the eldest son Ettore, joined the family business, followed two years later by the other son Giovanni, nicknamed “Nino”.
In 1925 Ettore obtained his driving license. That same year he bought an automobile for public transport, a “Scat”.
1928 saw the arrival of the first truck, a Fiat 505, which Battista purchased in Turin directly from Giovanni Agnelli, paying him in gold coins (Marenghi).
In 1930 the company’s motorisation was complete and the last horse ended its service in 1932. At that time only three cars were used for public service (a Scat, an Ansaldo and a Lancia) and two trucks were assigned to transport goods (FIAT 505 and 506), which mostly involved moving.
During the period of World War II, the introduction of gasoline rationing in particular (90 I per month) resulted in a significant reduction in the company’s activities.
Taxi services were mainly used to transport the sick and wounded.
During World War II (1939 – 1945) Ettore “Nino” was hired by the munitions factory in Altdorf, in the capacity of a professional mechanic.
Ettore spent the war years in military service, obtaining special leave to carry out the transport needs of the border guards.
In 1946, after the war, the company adopted the name “Battista Baroni & figli” (Battista Baroni and sons). That same year, haulage was officialised at Ponte Tresa’s railway station, followed by Agno and Magliaso some years later. In 1953 Battista handed over the company to his two sons. In 1958, at the age of 50, Nino Baroni died suddenly.His brother Ettore took over the company and that same year he was joined by his son Osvaldo, who had just returned from Zurich where he had been successfully employed as a car mechanic at Alfa Romeo. In the years 1950/51 (see pictures below) Osvaldo served as a mechanic for the great Argentine driver J.M. Fangio (champion of the world in those particular years).
Towards the end of the fifties, the company would operate in the context of the industrialization of Lower Malcantone.
Caslano in particular, became a hub for the transportation business, supporting the companies that had established themselves there. In 1966, Osvaldo built the new headquarters in Via Regina 10, in the outskirts of the town, as the increase of traffic would have made it impossible to continue doing business in the old location. There were ten vehicles available – seven for the transport of goods and three for taxi services – and twelve employees. In 1965 Ettore sold the company to Osvaldo and went on dealing exclusively with passenger transport (taxi) as his affable nature secured him a loyal clientele. In 1970 a warehouse was built in Via Regina 8. Ettore died in 1975. After several years spent in Northern Europe, in 1978 Roberto – the son of Osvaldo – returned home. His knowledge of the national languages and English opened new opportunities for the company in the race towards the end of the millennium and beyond. The forth generation begun to get involved in the company. In 2001, Baroni & Sons was the first removal and soft drinks sale’s company in Ticino to be ISO certified. In 2002, Roberto was awarded a licence for the international transportation of goods and passengers with full credits, as well as the certificate of suitability for the training of apprentices. 2003, after an internship in the computer industry, Davide also started working in the office, followed in 2009 by Paolo. After finishing his business studies at the Institute Elvetico of Lugano, Paolo since 2011, is part of the staff of our main partner: Welti Furrer Zurich. In a few years, the know-how and the experience gained in Zurich will allow him to provide the best services to our customers.
by Roberto Baroni
Movie of Swiss national television for 100 years BARONI Trasporti