On Saturday we left Umbertide to visit the EXPO in Milan. They call it EXPO here but it is the same as the Worlds Fair. The theme is Feed the World, all about food. I had never been to a worlds fair before so I didn’t want to miss my chance. It opened in May and closes in October. The word at first was that it wasn’t really ready to open when it did so we waited a little.
We left Saturday and returned Monday with only one full day to see the Fair. As luck would have it, it was the hottest weather so far. In the upper 90s. It was broiling. We took the train to Florence. Then we changed to the fast and super nice, Frecciarossa, or Red Arrow. There were four classes of travel from opulent to nice. We were one up from nice.
We stayed at the Spadari al Duomo right in the Centro near the cathedral. It was a lovely four star place with great service and comfy beds. They left strawberries for us…
You could take the subway out to the EXPO from the hotel very easily. It took around 30 minutes to get there. We left about 9:30 so got there when it was opening.
There is a main thoroughfare which is very wide and covered with giant sun screens. If they hadn’t been there you couldn’t have stood the heat. The very wideness of this space gave the impression the crowds were light.
But no, if you tried to go into a pavilion the lines were long for the most part – and in the sun. They were handing out umbrellas to some suffering people. The Italian pavilion had lines 2 1/2 hours long early in the day. Many others had one hour waits. We did manage to go into the Israel pavilion, the Quatar pavilion, the Slovenian pavilion and the USA pavilion. All had presentations of their foods, or how their country was helping to feed the world, or something unique about themselves. The USA had the worlds largest vertical garden. Around the back was the Food Truck Nation. Four food trucks selling BBQ, Hamburgers, Lobster Rolls etc. Israel had a very nice multi-media presentation about how, after it became a nation in the mid twentieth century, it made lush gardens in the desert. They invented drip irrigation. They produce a tremendous amount of food in a very hostile environment.
On the way back home, after changing trains in Florence, our slow, hot, local train decided to break down. We sat, sweltering for 40 minutes before they finally got it going again. The joys of Trenitalia.