The short answer is yes, it is worth visiting Expo 2015. It’s a brilliant experience with some beautifully presented pavilions built in a variety of innovative architectural styles and, somehow, the message of helping to feed the world using earth-friendly techniques does get through.
But be warned, expo requires at least two days in Milan, stamina, a good pair of walking shoes, an ability to withstand the great temperature changes that fascinating city is prone to and the patience to endure long queues for some of the most exciting pavilions.
If you haven’t visited Milan before then expo should be combined with a visit to this seriously under-rated Italian city which is jam-packed with great historical sites from ancient Roman columns through one of the most spectacular of Europe’s gothic cathedrals to wonderful museums and fabulous art nouveau buildings.
We stayed in a perfectly adequate hotel near porta Venezia which enabled us to get to the expo site at Rho quickly using the urban rail system.
Many may ask which are the best pavilions to visit. It’s all a matter of taste! We loved the Thai one with a shop where one could choose ready prepared Thai food and have it micro waved for you. The UAR had both amazing desert simulating architecture by Foster and a moving show within. Nepal was touching with its ornate temple built in the wake of the catastrophic earthquake it has recently suffered. Japan was great with both virtual and live shows and a good restaurant.The coop’s supermarket of the future was awesome as was also the robotic bar, shaken but not stirred. Indonesia, Angola and several others also impressed.
We stayed for the evening on our first day there to see the spectacular tree of life show by the Italian pavilion which had a superb mirror covered area displaying the best of this country’s attractions
Art critic Sgarbi’s selection of unusual Italian works of art must also not be missed.
Throughout the expo we were glad of the fountains distributing both still and carbonated water freely. How lucky we are to have this precious element!
It was fun to have our ‘passport’ stamped with the countries we visited. In some cases with remote south Pacific islands the stamp was actually drawn by the host.
There certainly was an awareness of how precious our planet’s resources are and the need to conserve them. There was also an awareness of the wealth disparity of so many countries. The gulf states really splashed out on their pavilions while some of the smaller African states and countries like Yemen and Afghanistan had to make do with standardized wooden cubes and were largely concerned in selling their crafts.
It’s so sad to realise that so much of the world’s wealth is spent on totally futile activities like those creating Europe’s present refugee crisis. So many Arab states have rapidly expanding economies clamouring for more Labour force that they too should be able to ease the pressure off Europe.
What is clear, however, is that expo 2015 is literally giving us food for thought and that the next big expo will take place in one of those vastly changing Arabic states.
So do go to expo 2015 if you can but realise that, in the end, Milan’s finest attraction is the extraordinary city itself.