In the mid 1600's Valstagna's woodsmen began using timber resources to make charcoal. This practice began on the Mount Grappa side of the valley in San Nazario and Solagna and was of considerable commercial value for over two centuries.
Carbonai were men and women who, over the centures, were employed with this ancient craft traveling to forests in Lombardy, Piedmont, Lazio, France and Slovenia. It was a seasonal occupation lasting 9 months of the year. Typically a carbonai would travel with his family, they would have reliable, signed contracts, many times with the same employer. Barracks and all of the tools would remain at the production area so workers only carried their personal belongings. As soon as the season began the work of cutting trees, cutting the trunks to the right size, building a pioato,where logs would be burned and collecting coal after the combustion process.
“ We arranged of the wood inside like this, it was called el casteò, first stacking it verticle and adding it around the base, round and round, always standing it up like a castle. The biggest logs were at the bottom and middle, adding layers of smaller logs in a circular patten around the center section 'poiato' until it was nice and round.”