The Mattei/Monighetti’s to the end of the line

barb_mullen2The Monighetti’s were the wealthy ones in the Mattei family. How was it that this family succeeded financially while others in the family struggled? There is much to be said for the personal qualities and ambitions that go towards creating an approach to life conducive to creating wealth. There is more to be said for the opportunities available to some, that are not available to others.


The Monighetti’s were a part of a close network of family and community. In the important early years when a family establishes itself, the Monighetti’s were strong and healthy. There were personal challenges but they did not defeat Kit Monighetti nee Mattei.


When she married Carlo Monighetti, she married a man who had years of previous experience in hospitality and who had acquired reasonable wealth. He was a man who had learned how to succeed in society. The family they made benefited from a good helping hand up the steps of life.

That wealth they created was however, not passed on to their future generations. We believe there are no descendants of that branch of the family today.

Who was Carlo Monighetti?

monighetticarloCarlo Leone Monighetti was born in Biasca, Ticino, Switzerland, 1858. He was the youngest of a family of 12. In Australia he called himself Charles but in order to differentiate him from his firstborn, we shall refer to him as Carlo.

Carlo came to Victoria from Queensland in 1890, prior to this he had been living in Portsea, UK where he was a hotel cook. He is on the UK census in 1881 where he gives his age as 26.

His older brother Venanzio was also in the UK at the time, he established a confectionery business and became a prominent member of the community there before returning to home in Biasca.

When Kit decided to marry him, Carlo had the Café Victoria at 202 Swanston St Melbourne, in the centre of the city’s main street. About 16 years older than her, he was already it seems a well to do man.

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