Pietro was born in Padova, Italy and Desley in Brisbane. Pietro studied Anthropology and Desley Creative Arts.
They met in Melbourne in January 1970 and married later that same year. They then moved to Italy and lived there for a while before returning to Brisbane.
In 1975 Desley commenced work at the Schonell Theatre at the University of Queensland, while Pietro started visiting Papua New Guinea regularly in search of primitive art.
In 1981, they bought their property at Rathdowney but their Gabriel Poole house wasn't built until 1999.
In 1991 they created the Schonell Pizza Caffe which became a popular meeting place for academics, students and pizza-lovers from all over Brisbane.
They now enjoy sharing their skills at their cooking classes both at Rathdowney and in people's homes.
They didn't have children but have always had many animals. Their present menagerie includes Juanita and Kurt the two llamas, nine alpacas, 14 peacocks (at last count), two cats, 60 birds and lots of native animals. Much of their 100 acre block is a nature refuge where the bush is being preserved for wildlife.
NOW WITH A MOBILE PIZZA OVEN,
THEY CAN DO THEIR POPULAR PIZZA CLASSES IN YOUR OWN HOME.