BARTERING AND TRADE

Either on foot or by carts and sledges to barter products

To obtain foodstuffs that were not available locally (in particular salt, that was indispensable for the preservation of food), when the inhabitants of Sauris were not busy working in farms or in the mountain pastures, they went on foot, by cart or sledges to the nearby towns to barter or sell their own products. Fulgenzio Schneider effectively described this exchange system: “The trade of exporting dairy products and importing cereals started in this way and this business was already at its height towards 1870. […] The exchanging of goods was carried out mainly during the winter and transport was carried out using sledges and on men’s, women’s and children’s shoulders and usually Monday was the day of the week that was set for this activity. Long queues of people followed as if they were in a procession, that set off from Sauris shortly after midnight, with lanterns lit as if to illuminate the strenuous Mount Pura. No-one even took the cold or a snowfall into consideration, unless it was too abundant, and not even if the path wasn’t so good, because necessity forced people to face all kinds of danger just to obtain a little wheat and above all to satisfy the merchants in Ampezzo who arrogantly waited for their share of butter”. These conditions gradually improved towards the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries, with the foundation of two social dairies and the Sauris Co-operative Union of Production and Consumption (1920), that enabled the marketing of products on a wider scale as well as importation at more advantageous prices.