Italy 2008 - Day 3 was the whole point of this trip - the tour of the Panto Window factory. I was on this factory tour four years ago and I have to say the second tour was as informative and inspiring as the first. What pride - what craftsmanship - what passion about a product. Panto has it all - not to mention a factory the floor you could eat pasta off of!!!
From the glass to the teak wood frames to the custom finishing it all is a painstaking process that is constantly being refined and perfected. From spraying the varnish on in an argon gas chamber because the argon molecules are smaller than oxygen molecules and it allows the varnish to penetrate to wood easier and deeper. Their windows come with a 30 year warranty, and trust me - you can see why.
We were given the tour by Walter who runs the operations - and later in the week is our fish griller. The tour lasted about two and a half hours and where we concluded at the factory showroom. Their multislide units and their tilt and turn windows and doors are simply works of art - but extremely functional. We have two houses now in Arizona with Panto windows and they have held up beautifully in the harsh, Arizona climate.
Of course after a strenuous factory tour you need a hearty lunch. We ventured to a wonderful country restaurant where we had the best gnocchi on the trip. It was chewy and with a little pepperoncini it hit the spot. Add a cold beer and a couple additional courses which will remain nameless and you have a great lunch.
Then it was off to a quick tour of Treviso - the town just north of Venice. This town is very charming as it too has a series of streams and canals through the town only they are running with fresh mountain water and loaded with some of the largest trouts I've ever seen. My associate, Craig Stoffel, who loves to fly fish would be in heaven. The town was badly destroyed in WWII but has been nicely restored. It is amazing to think that just 55 years ago this place was like Iraq.
We closed the night off with more gnocchi with a duck ragu, and roast beef that was fantastic, and the best tiramisu of the trip - it was amazing. Another 2-1/2 hour meal and it was back to the hotel to get rested for the next day.