Portugal meets Tyrol

Leonel Magalhaes da Silva originally came to Tyrol to work but it was love that kept him here. Today, he and his family run the newly designed Cafe Salvista Stadl in Itter serving Tyrolean regional delicacies to both young and old guests in the region.

kitzbueheler-alpen-lebenswege-sommer-leonel-da-silva-c-kitzbueheler-alpen-daniel-gollner-2© Daniel Gollner Fotografie

Growing up in a small Portuguese village, it was already clear to Leonel Magalhaes da Silva during his school years that sooner or later he would be tempted to go abroad. "When I was 18, I travelled first to Frankfurt and later to Tyrol to work in construction." While there, he lived in a small inn where the woman who later became his wife was employed. "We met and fell in love." For Leonel, this only clarified that he had found his second home here - under the summit of the Wilder Kaiser. "My plans were big, I was striving for a career in construction, wanted to continue with foreman training, work my way up, but in the end everything turned out differently."

kitzbueheler-alpen-lebenswege-sommer-leonel-da-silva-c-kitzbueheler-alpen-daniel-gollner-5© Daniel Gollner Fotografie

One day, his father-in-law began to contemplate a well-deserved pension, leaving the young family the opportunity to take over his hospitality business. Leonel had to make a decision: Was his heart set on the construction industry or in the hospitality business? "I chose the latter, both were not possible." He, the Portuguese who had never tapped a beer before, quickly learned to find his way in the unfamiliar work environment. "I got to talk to people, which allowed me to steadily improve my German and I began to feel more and more comfortable in my new role."

Drop in for a bite to eat

Cafe Salvista Stadl is located right at the Salvista cable car valley station in Itter and is considered a real insider tip by locals and guests alike. Leonel is very impressed by the regional products available: "We use as many products as possible for our cuisine that are sustainably produced in the immediate vicinity, for a healthy and regional bonus. We only sell food that we ourselves approve of." So, vegetables, salads and fruit largely come from our own garden, cheese, farmhouse bread, milk and eggs from the surrounding farmers, sausages and cold meats from the local butcher's and handmade ice cream from the nearby confectionery. To start the day choose between a hiking breakfast, a gourmet breakfast, a small breakfast or a fitness breakfast, and at lunchtime, handmade spinach dumplings and Schlutzkrapfen (ravioli) are served. Specialities from Portugal are not on the menu "yet": "I think guests come to Tyrol to get to know Tyrolean culture, not Portuguese cuisine.

© Daniel Gollner Fotografie
© Daniel Gollner Fotografie
© Daniel Gollner Fotografie
© Daniel Gollner Fotografie
© Daniel Gollner Fotografie

The Salvista Garden

Leonel recently came up with something very special for his young guests: The Low Ropes Park "Salvista Garden". "Directly adjacent to our sun terrace, a self-constructed obstacle course made of tree trunks and ropes is waiting to be discovered by young and old. Here, parents can relax and enjoy their coffee while their offspring can let off steam to their heart's content." For Leonel, gastronomy has now become his passion. "I am very happy with my life." He can no longer imagine returning to Portugal: "We like to go to my home country for a few relaxing days, but after just one week I'm drawn back to Tyrol because here, in the heart of the mountains, I've found my true home."

Sabine Ertl

Sabine Ertl

...nurture body and soul. Born 1986 in Carinthia, studied media and communication sciences in Klagenfurt. As a freelance journalist, copywriter and blogger she likes to travel a lot. Mountain freak, horse freak, neo-cellist and gourmet. More details: www.gedankenschmiede.at more details

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