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April 9, 2014 | End of the Italian Tour

After the trials and tribulations of the dreadful motorway, I arrive in Genoa practically on my knees with the effort. Our parking guide indicates there is the possibility of parking at the port. If it does exist, we do not find it. Right on the seafront the Genoa Fair vehicle park offers shelter. We can almost feel the waves lapping at our open window.

On Monday we head north to Alpla Italy. The company is run by Mr Andrae Fröis. Born in Austria, he has been living in Italy for nearly two decades now. I am pleased to be meeting him at the conclusion of our tour of Italy, as we can pick up on comments about the Italian PET and bottling world, bring them all together and complete our picture of the market.

On Tuesday we discuss with Repi the advantages and disadvantages of PET colouring by liquid colour. Repi then invites us to join them for a delicious fish dinner, after which we set off, suitably fed and watered, on the return journey to Switzerland. The crossing of the Alps seems never-ending, with truck after truck pulling out and overtaking us. Near Zug in Switzerland, we find a place to park beside a little stream. Not quite the same as the gentle lapping of the waves in Genoa but the murmuring water makes for a pleasant background accompaniment nonetheless.

The conclusion of the tour comes on Wednesday with a visit to Otto Hofstetter. I had not personally seen the new production facilities and to the untutored eye the arrangement of machinery and equipment looked somehow over complex. On closer inspection, HOWEVER, and listening carefully to the explanations, I begin to understand the logic behind it. In the afternoon I drop Waldemar off in Pfäffikon, and then set off on the drive back to Heidelberg. The Italian section of our Mediterranean tour took us a total of 5 weeks during which we conducted over 20 interviews and drove the Editourmobil some 6,500 km in all. Our Easter break has been well and truly earned! After Easter, we set off again on our travels, this time to Spain and Morocco.

At Otto Hofstetter we visit the new production facilities