Gaetano was born in Palazzolo in April 1901, the youngest son of Giovanni and Colomba. Gentile, Angelo, Giacinto and Agostino became responsible for the factory when their father died. Two year old Gaetano was looked after by his mother and his brothers who strove to bring him up well until he was old enough to work in the factory. This influenced his character, instilling in him a sense of great respect and recognition towards his older brothers, so that when he was an adult he immersed himself body and soul in his work, "because I have to return all that they did for me." He was particularly attached to his sister Anna, the third of the eight Lanfranchi children; when she was twenty-one she married Carlo Marzoli, a manufacturer in Palazzolo.