A lot has already been said, written and seen about Expo 2015. We have chosen to synthesize the most useful and curious information about the Expo in ten bullet points. Ten pieces of information that you must know when talking about the Expo:
- The numbers of Expo
• Twenty million visitors are expected;
• the exhibits are on display for 184 days;
• there are 142 participating countries, plus three international organizations: the UN, CERN and the European Commission.
• The site covers 1.7 million square meters.
- How the site is structured
The area concerned is characterized by two main axes, the Cardo and the Decumano. The first one goes from the center toward the periphery, symbolically uniting the place where food is consumed (the city) with the place where food is produced (the countryside). One kilometer where each country will express their productive and alimentary richness. The Italy Pavilion is located on the other axis. The intersection point between the two axes symbolizes the place where Italy meets the world in a large Central Plaza. The Hill has a system of ramps that lead the visitor on top to enjoy the view of the site from above. Other components are the Open Air Theatre, with a lawn and surrounding terraces for outdoor concerts, theatrical performances and official ceremonies as well as the Lake Arena which hosts water games, fireworks, concerts and shows on floating platforms and stages, art installations and temporary events. The Expo Center, composed of auditoriums, performance areas and offices, and five thematic areas that develop the Expo theme through exhibits, art installations and other attractions. The Pavilion Zero, the Biodiversity Park, the Future Food District and the Children’s Park complete the project.
- Nepal and solidarity
The hand-carved Nepal Pavilion is inspired by a temple. It was completed thanks to the solidarity from other workers after the fourteen workers who had been working on it had to return to their country following the terrible earthquake. Inside there is a fundraiser to aid Kathmandu.
- Coexistence is possible
Expo is a universal exposition that includes symbols and meanings of coexistence, peace and dialogue. So the USA pavilion has Kuwait as a neighbor and faces Iran. Israel is next to the Vatican.
- Exclusive foods
Thanks to a EU waiver it will be possible to taste some prohibited foods: crocodile meat (Zimbabwe), puffer fish (Japan), snake wine (Vietnam). Sardinian suckling pig will also be available after being confined to the island for many years due to a swine fever. There will also be plenty of other uncommon foods: grasshoppers, crickets, dried termites, giant larvae and chocolate-covered scorpions. And at the Luftbar in the Austria pavilion it will be possible to taste bread made with wood flour with spruce tip butter.
- Permanent daily events
The Expo will feature permanent daily events, in the hope that the majority of visitors will be able to attend them. The light, laser and water games show at the Lake Arena is held every hour; while the Expo mascots parade on the Decumano twice a day, at 11:30 am and at 4:00 pm. Every day the Expo Centre will host a culinary demonstration for visitors. Every afternoon at 4:00 pm there will be fun events at the Children’s Park; and from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm there will be an aperitif with live music at the RAI multifunctional space. At Pavilion Zero there will be an hour-long show about the interpretation of the relationship between humans and nature. Let’s not forget the exhibit of six artistic masterpieces in the Italy Pavilion: l’Ortolano by Arcimboldo (only until the end of August); Vucciria by Renato Guttuso; il Genio Futurista by Giacomo Balla; the Trapezophoros, a.k.a. the Griffins by Ascoli Satriano; the Hora, a marble statue from the Uffizi museum in Florence; and Jennifer Statuarioby Vanessa Beecroft.
- National days
All of the countries’ participation to the Expo will be celebrated over 115 days in the presence the authorities and official personalities: it starts with the celebration of Turkmenistan on May 3rd while Equatorial Guinea will be last on October 29th. There will also be 26 “international” days.
- Kid friendly areas
The Children’s Park is an area that includes stimulating activities and moments of relaxation designed specifically so that the little ones can also experience the Expo. Individual pavilions also offer many kid friendly activities. In the Chicco welcome area there will be 1000 free strollers to use and 14 nursery areas.
- Expo in the city
There are many side events that make Milan a privileged travel destination that is a must-see during this period. An example? The exhibits at the MUDEC or the exhibit Leonardo3 – The world of Leonardo, created within the Sale del Re space, with new reconstructions of his most famous machines and the world premiere restoration of some of his paintings.
- The Apps to download for the Expo
The official Expo app is the main point of reference and it contains several sections including maps, events, tickets and news. Another app that could be useful during the Expo is the well-tested MuoviMi. The most up-to-date and useful site to book hotels and rooms and to plan your movements in the city is Wonderfulexpo2015.