espresso machine purchasing advice wanted/needed
this year, i have two trips planned to italy. no permanent itin has been settled on as of yet, but we will be in sicily, tuscany, la spezia, venice, florence, trieste and possibly milan before heading to slovenia and croatia. we will have a car throughout both of these trips and therefore will be very mobile.
"while in rome, do as the romans do" right? well as it pertains to espresso, i would like to take this advice to heart but one step further. where should i go to buy an espresso machine? i've got my eye on a either a pavoni, synesso or rancillo brand. has anyone done this? i don't speak any italian. am i crazy to assume that i can go to the mother lode and bring home gold?
Furthermore, it will definitely not be cheaper over there. Maybe that's not your mission, but I agree with the above - you'll run into electrical problems PLUS it will not be cheaper. Just drink as much of the lovely stuff over there as you can - then come home and buy an Italian machine here. You'll have a valid warranty on the machine and it will work on North American current.
in '98 i purchased my beloved pavoni while in rome. the exchange rate at the time did in fact make the pavoni much cheaper than here in the states (by about $200 i think). the store where i made the purchase had pavonis wired for italy as well as the states so that was never a problem.
i realize others are advising you not to do this and there may be great validity in following their advice. however, i find it incredibly sentimental to make my cup of espresso from my roman pavoni! i have no regrets.
The mother lode might not be all that it seems, and you might find more gold in your own backyard.
There could be some things your not thinking of like service, repair, warranty, not to mention do you really want these machines without exploring all the other possibilities?
Without getting specific, I recommend you write your same question in one of the coffee forums. I can guarantee if you question the posters at coffeegeek they will give you a wealth of info. Good luck and I hope you eventually are happy with your purchase.