George Kuhnt, Konditorei Barth & Cloetta, Breslau, c. 1854. Ausstellung 'Die Bünder Auswanderungsgeschichte von Zuckerbäckern'. Foto: TES.

Trade agreements between theRepublic of Venice and the Free State of the Three Leagues (Canton les Grisons or Graubünden since 1803)) allowed for free access to the republic of Venice and the right to exercise free trade.

New professions appeared, among them the pastry makers.
This profession comprised those of confiseur, cafetier, chocolatier, or beer brewer. They also produced liquors, lemonades, fizzy drinks, and almond products like marzipan. Venice exported its products across the alpine passes to Northern Europe.
Apart from trade, there were political and strategic concerns.

The Three Leagues, with their subjugated Italian-speaking territories Chiavenna, Valtellina and Bormio, formed a buffer zone between the republic of Venice, the Habsburg Empire, who were present in parts of Lombardy and Milan, Habsburg Spain and France. The agreements were regularly renewed.

In 1766 Venice cancelled the agreement, and the city-state expelled the Bündner (all those from the Grisons). After their expulsion, the pastry makers ventured all over Europe and later the New World. They often set up businesses in towns and villages. They were masters in their trade, enterprising, well organised, and willing to endure long and dangerous travels.

What has come down to later generations mainly concerns those who had been successful, such as the Redolfi and the Castelmur. This exhibition tells their fascinating history.