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Tuesday, March 19, 2014 | Around Lake Garda and Venice

Our Editourmobil has other ideas when it comes to progress. What we actually wanted to do was to experience Lake Garda from the road on the western side of the lake, but the fact that the tunnels are only 3.65m high prevents us from making any headway. This means we have to turn back. Heading south we find somewhere to pitch up just outside the magnificent medieval town of Sirmione. The town is located on a peninsula which juts out into Lake Garda, with access via a single town gate. This would appear to be THE place to meet as far as the Italians are concerned. During the day there are crowds of people pushing their way through the twisting streets. By the evening the day trippers have disappeared, leaving us to enjoy the streets, squares and houses to the full.

At Gardaplast's facility

Our two appointments for that Monday also happen to be in the immediate vicinity. First on our list is Gardaplast, a preform manufacturer. Here we meet Amos Tonoli. His philosophy: “Once you stop investing in the sensitive Italian market, you might as well give up“. Awaiting us we find an ultra-modern preform production operation, kitted out with 8 Husky systems and a Sacmi preform line.

We set off again in the afternoon, taking the route directly along the lake to Salò. This is where the “Tavina Fonte“ spring is situated, which supplies the mineral water used for filling PET bottles. Around 20 % of the water goes for export. Plant Director Carlo Andreotta shows us their own brands for the Japanese, Australian and German markets.

(f.r.t.l.) The Tavina team and Waldemar Schmitke

Our next appointment is in Posina which is not far from Lake Garda. Maybe 40 km as the crow flies, but to get there we have to go over the mountains. Our GPS manages to sort out a route for us around the mountains. A 160km round trip, to be precise. When we eventually arrive in Posina we are glad we opted for this route. Going over the mountains would have taken us hours, and there’s no knowing whether we would have got through at all with the Editourmobil…
In Posina we encounter yet another bottler who is going for growth despite the stagnating market. The Posina plant bottles almost exclusively private labels and this is a sector that is looking to grow at the expense of the other brands. Here there are not just one but two new Sidel installations for us to admire. An aseptic line and a water/CSD line.

View on Posina's Sidel line

Tomorrow we have a day off. We are keen to have a look at Venice but it’s the same old story as at Lake Garda, i.e. the overnight pitches are still closed. So we instigate a change of plan and travel on to Treviso. Another beautiful town. By midday we have written all our reports, repaired the bathroom door and I am nursing an attack of flu.