This May all eyes are on Milan, Italy’s often overlooked northern city, for the 2015 World Expo. Returning to Milan for the first time since 1906, the six month long Milan Expo 2015 (from May 1 to October 31) will feature 130 countries and 53 national pavilions. More than 8 million tickets have already been sold, making Milan the number one place to visit in 2015 according to the New York Times and giving YOU great reason to visit Milan too!
What is an “Expo?”
An Expo is a large exposition dedicated to a topic of universal interest. The first Expo was held in London in 1851. Its success prompted other countries to hold similar events, eventually starting a tradition. Now, the Expo is held every five years in a different city throughout the world to present new technologies and discuss the relating challenges that mankind faces.
With the theme, “Feeding the Planet. Energy for Life,” Italy decided to present itself to the world through one of its most characterizing aspects: food and nutrition. In this city steeped in culinary tradition, Milan Expo 2015 seeks to open a dialogue about the “problems of nutrition and the resources of our planet” by exploring traditional cultural values of food as well as the use of new technologies.
53 countries have built a unique pavilion to display their products, host events and more. The other participating countries have set up spaces in 9 clusters separated by specific foods such as coffee, cacao, rice, spices and fruits, or by specific sub-categories of the Expo’s main theme, such as islands, the sea and food; food and nutrition in dry zones; or bio-Mediterranean.
What is there to do?
Milan World Expo is open from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. every day for the entire six months with in-depth analysis during the day, including conferences and debates on the global and social challenges to healthy, safe and sufficient food world wide. Expo by night is devoted to entertainment, with exclusive shows by Cirque du Soleil, country-by-country events and, of course, plenty of food tastings!
Located in the heart of northern Italy, the 2015 World Expo also provides a great starting point for side trips and continuing travel. Explore Milan extensively, from the Duomo to the Last Supper and aperitivi along the recently restored Navigli. Or, head north. From Piedmont to Friuli Venezia-Giulia, cities across northern Italy are prepared to welcome visitors and share with them their art, architecture and, especially, cuisine!
How do I get there?
Fly directly into Milano Malpensa airport internationally. From there, you can take a bus, a taxi or the airport transfer train into Milan’s central train station, Milano Stazione Centrale. Flights into Milano Linate airport also have bus connections every 30 minutes to the central train station. Smaller flights from Europe, such as Ryanair, land in the Bergamo airport, Orio al Serio. From there it takes about an hour by bus to travel to the central train station. (Read our article: How to take public transport in Milan to navigate the city like a true Milanese!)
The Expo is located in the northwest of Milan, covering approximately 1.1 million square feet in the zone of Rho and Pero, near the Fiera Milano fairgrounds. With an expected 20 million visitors, it’s important to buy tickets in advance here to be sure you’re able to attend and to avoid the hassle of getting them the day of the event.
Milan has a lot to offer a traveler, and this year even more. In Italy, food really is life, and through the 2015 Milan Expo, Italy has the chance to show its food heritage to the world and share in the food heritage of the world. See the city alive with visitors and events, then make your way across northern Italy to see it for yourself!