Earlier in 2014, I had the privilege of being invited to a dinner hosted by the Italian tourism board at the elegant Sofitel Hotel in Melbourne. The occasion was to promote the world expo being held in Milan, Italy in 2015 and they definitely impressed invited guests from the diverse tourism and travel industry on the night. We met so many lovely people on the night who had amazing travel stories and insightful conversations, with many laughs along the way. I must extend my many thanks to the Italian tourism board for the privilege of my colleague and myself for being invited to such an evening.
Guests were treated to a banquet of italian traditional dishes, antipasto platters on the table and lovely wine – which continued throughout the night. The organisers certainly out did themselves on hosting such an event and soon we realised how sitting the night was for the theme of the expo. That was impressive enough, but then we were treated to a presentation about the world expo in Milan. Some organisers had flown out from Italy just to present on the night and explained the theme of this edition of the world expo – food. This is to be held from the 1st May 2015 to 31st October 2015.
Centering around the motto “feeding the planet, energy for life”, the world expo site in Milan is divided into food groups (clusters) for the countries which are not hosting their own pavilions – such as fruit & legumes, spices, islands, arid zones, bio mediterranean, cereals and tubers, coffee, cocoa and rice. Whilst other countries who opt for their own pavilion will construct amazing sites of architectural beauty. Looking online at may countries’ pavilions plans the architecture is jaw droppingly amazing and showcases the uniqueness of each nation. The site covers over 1 million square kilometers, 60 pavilions in total and 130 nations represented.
Surprising to find out that Australia did not express interest to participate in the expo – especially considering the rich agricultural industry and also multicultural food scene in our nation. For Italy though, the theme of food is quite fitting where many people associate the country with its offering of culinary delights ranging from pastas, pasties, gelato and much more. My last visit to Italy was like eating my way through the country, tasting all the lovingly prepared food and diversity in flavours.
The presentation went on to showcase the expo through captivating videos featuring Italian tenor Andrea bocelli and the landscapes of Milan. Finally concluding with a very clever initiative to encourage Italian immigrants and descendents to return back to Italy for the expo. The ‘Made of Italians’ Initiative provides special discounts, offers, free entry to museums and more for italians living abroad and also foreign citizens of italian origin. They have tapped into the large market of italians living in places such as in Australia and the United states. More information about this initiative can be found on http://www.madeofitalians.expo2015.org
After reading through various leaflets and information about the expo, it has certainly encouraged for me to make time to visit Italy again to immerse myself in the excitement and spectacle that the expo 2015 will be. A feast for all the senses and especially the tastes on offer. Speaking frankly and objectively, I would be delighted to encourage travellers to venture to Milan in 2015 during the expo to take advantage of this unique occasion of having the world’s plate all in one location. And at the same time to enjoy the wonder that is Italy.
My recommendation – Arrive in Italy for the expo with an empty stomach and leave the country with amazing memories and taste experiences of a lifetime. Buon appetito.
More information about the World Expo Milan 2015 can be foun on their official website: http://www.expo2015.org/en/