In August 2015 I had the chance to visit the Universal Exposition in Milan for a whole weekend. It was a nice experience even if I probably chose the worst day to be there. In fact, on Saturday August 29 there were 158.000 people visiting the Expo, according to the official statistics.
My first day at the Expo was Friday. There is a 5 euro ticket that allows visitors to attend the Expo after 7pm. It is quite difficult to visit a pavilion at that time but it is worth checking out the night events. Buzz said that bars in Milan were complaining as most people went to Expo for aperitifs and dancing instead of staying in the city. The Polish and Dutch pavilion invested a lot in night events so they were the most crowded.
My first stop at the Expo was at the Pavilion Zero, which is supported by the United Nations. Its main goal is to introduce the Expo to visitors. The first room is basically a reproduction of a historical library, representing the whole history of mankind. A must see is the stock exchange room where visitors can have an idea of the current food prices while looking at monitors and graphs which are typical of a stock exchange. The room is followed by giant reproduction of a dump. It has been actually shocking to realise how much food we put in our waste bins every day.
One of the first pavilions along the way is the Belgian one where I had the chance to try the famous Belgian fries. They were fried in Belgium, frozen for the trip to Milan where they were fried again. Some of the sauces I had never seen them in my life before. For 5 euros it seems like an amazing experience.
The restaurants were quite expensive. The Argentinean pavilion was quite pricey so we decided to move to the Italian regional restaurant. The Italian chain Eataly got to manage the building. It seems that the company was the only one to get accepted for a pavilion at the Expo without a tender. Every Italian region was represented by a restaurant which was present at the Expo for a few days. However, our tortellini were dry and the drinks were quite expensive.
We came back the following morning with the aim of visiting a few pavilions. However, the queues were longer than expected.
The first one we saw was Bahrain. The pavilion was basically a reproduction of the typical house of the country filled with a garden full of typical plants and fruits. Angola, the second pavilion has been the greatest surprise. It is actually a huge three floors pavilion which shows people what is peculiar about the food in the country. Videos and technology were widely used along the path. At the time we visited there was also an exhibition of a local painter.
Despite the long queues and the pricey restaurants it is worth taking a journey through the grand World Expo 2015 which will run until the end of October.