The first cooperative dairy in Italy
In 1872, in Forno di Canale (now Canale d'Agordo) the first cooperative dairy in Italy was set up by Rev. Antonio Della Lucia (1824-1906), the archpriest of Canale d'Agordo. The clergyman, born in Frassené Agordino, had been the chaplain at the nearby village of San Tomaso Agordino, where Rev. Martino Ghetta was the parish priest. This clergyman aroused Rev. Antonio’s passion in social matters, to the point that the latter, after having been appointed parish priest of Canale in 1860, started to think of an efficient solution which could slow down the huge emigration flood occurring after the annexation of the area from the Austrian Empire to the Reign of Italy. So he devised a collective system of milk processing whose income could be invested for common welfare. He began his trial along with some friends of his in the parish house. It was such a success that it led to the construction of the present cooperative dairy in 1890 and to the export of such a model in the whole Reign of Italy. For this, he was nominated Knight of the Reign by King Vittorio Emanuele II.
This was not the only achievement of his. In fact, already in 1868, he had set up the first rural kindergarten of the province in Canale. Then he opened the first moving libraries (the books were taken to the people homes on handcarts to encourage people to read), consumer cooperatives, rural banks, mutual aid companies for bovines and many other initiatives directed to the human, social, economic, political and religious development of his parish and its territory.
Rev. Antonio Della Lucia was also the parish priest of Bortola Tancon (1879-1948), future mother of Albino Luciani, of Rev. Filippo Carli (1879-1934), his future parish priest and of Father Felice Cappello, the socalled "Confessor of Rome" (1879-1963), whose beatification process is going on. Della Lucia infused a great and deep passion for catechism and the announcement of the Gospel in all of them. Bortola Tancon was considered as the best catechist in Canale and when Rev. Filippo Carli became archpriest of Canale d'Agordo (from 1919 to 1934), he was the main educator of Albino Luciani.