Originally from Perugia in Italy which is, as chocolate lovers from all over the world surely know, the home of the “Baci di Perugia”, those little chocolate kisses that contain wise words in a similar way to fortune cookies. Do these Baci have something to do with all her baking, creating and pastry-making? Because Silvia Manuali too was born in Perugia.
“No”, she says, betraying her Italian origins in her speech and manner. “I actually wanted to become something completely different. But the crisis of 2008 made it very hard to find a job, particularly in our part of Italy.”
She decided to move elsewhere in order to work here and there and do whatever came up. “I simply believed that life already knew where I would end up. And life planned a confectioner’s in … for me, which made me very happy, because I have always loved baking and creating desserts! By myself I would never have thought I could realise my passion in my work.”
The sweet path taken by this young Italian thus began in the Aosta Valley (?), in the … pastry shop. But she subsequently moved and worked all round Europe. Soon she was learning in a chocolaterie in Belgium, as a trainee with Edward Bechoux, in France at …, finally landing in South Tyrol with a flat in sunny Eppan, looking for a new challenge in order to put into practice all that she had learned and above all to give free rein to her enthusiasm and creativity.
Silvia was immediately taken by the idea of “La Nonnaglück”, a place to bring together things that are both fine and beautiful, whether these are accessories, culinary delights, decorative articles or fashion items. “The fact that from the very beginning I could apply my own ideas here, witnessing and helping create something completely new, gave my work a completely new value.” But what exactly is Silvia’s work now? “To make people’s lives that little bit sweeter every day, with surprising creations that are first pleasing to look at, then a delight to the taste. That is my very personal “La Nonnaglück” happiness.” (She laughs)
For Silvia it is a matter of course that she makes use of wholly natural ingredients from the surrounding area: her creation of sweet works of art using simple means and presenting the main ingredients of her various masterpieces are her distinguishing feature. Visitors to la nonnaglück are each day amazed at the new cakes, tarts, biscuits and creations. “Breakfast at la nonnaglück is a riot of colour, fantasy and taste – you cannot describe in words what is served up there to start the day”, enthuses one guest.
Silvia is delighted when visitors - rather than eating them all at once - take photos of their cake or of the other delights on offer, as if they just cannot get enough of the sight of them. “True pleasure is a matter for all the senses. You can even hear it! When it turns all quiet and people close their eyes, that’s when you know you’ve done everything right.”