ITALY (eTN) – At the end of July 2015, EXPO Milano will be half-way to its six-month, May-October lifespan. No official figures on the flow of people are available yet. Nevertheless, among the management of EXPO prevails satisfaction and a feeling of confidence that according to the current trends, the ticket sales will tally 18 million aby closing time – slightly below the estimated 20 million visitors figure.
According to Mr. Mauri of the Institutional Relations Office of EXPO 2015, “Historical facts dating back to the last five World Expos, [indicate] visits will rise 42-43% in the last 6-8 weeks. So we can realistically hope that the goal of 20 million will be easily reached and perhaps exceeded.”
He goes on to highlight the success of EXPO that attracted the visits of many of the most important world heads of states starting from the Italian President, Sergio Mattarella, and other Italian top politicians including the PM, Matteo Renzi, who, as head of the Italian government, is frequently in Milan to greet top guests, taking advantage to organize bilateral meetings.
Among the foreign heads of state were the French President, Francois Hollande; the British Prime Minister, David Cameron; and Russian President, Vladimir Putin. The Vatican City send a video message from Pope Francis, and there was also a visit by US First Lady Michelle Obama, along with many other heads of state and ministers from other countries along with their delegations.
On October 18, the Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-Moon, will be physically delivered to the Charter of Milan – the cultural legacy of EXPO Milano. For the first time in EXPO history, the event was preceded by debates in the scientific community, civil society, and institutions on the theme “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life.” A process led by the will of the Italian government, to the definition of this document was shared, which attracts citizens, associations, companies, and institutions to assume their responsibility to ensure that future generations can enjoy the right to food. At present, the Charter of Milan is located at the Italian Pavilion and anyone can subscribe to it.
EXPO is also attractive to the trade associations and institutions. Confindustria and Confartigianato have held here their annual meetings here, and the Football League will present its schedule of the Premier League, while the Football Association holds its Federal Council. Even the Italian Air Force brought together the various European Chiefs to witness to an exciting connection with Samantha Cristoforetti from space.
Noteworthy is the institutional arrangements between EXPO and the Ministry of Education who promoted a children and youth visit at a special price , which they plan to repeat at the start of the first school term in September. Between EXPO and ANCI, the Italian Association of Mayors, a seniors’ visit in August at a special price will be supported.
The destiny of the Expo exhibition grounds
While awaiting the decision on the destination of the one million square meters of urbanized EXPO grounds as to whether it will be home to a university center or a hospital center, which pavilions will be dismantled and which will be handed over to the Milan administration cannot yet be determined. From an institutional point of view, can one can say that all in all EXPO is a success? “Absolutely yes, clear and irreversible,” replied Mr. Mauri.
Side events connected to EXPO
On the sidelines of this universal exhibition, Milan is hosting a number of special initiatives related to food, including the celebration of the harvest of grain to the inauguration, along with the inauguration of a new bike path that runs along the “Nor Water Way” for example.
Let’s harvest grain
On July 9, those in Milan were able to attend to a great feast of the harvest of wheat grown in Wheatfield, the work of environmental art by American artist, Agnes Denes, given to the city on the occasion of EXPO. A naturally-formed area of 5 hectares between the skyscrapers of the new Milanese skyline were sowed that involved the participation of over 5 thousand Milanese in the month of February 2015. Each “reaper” took home a bunch of ears of wheat and a bag with seeds grown among the skyscrapers.
Cycling along the waterway
The 8-kilometer bike path that runs along the North Water Way from Garbagnate Milanese, leading directly to the site of Expo 2015 was inaugurated on July 5 for the satisfaction of hundreds of cyclists.
The ranking of the food
As for food points at the EXPO ground, the restaurants, kiosks, and food trucks mapped by Zomato, amounted to 219. Italian cuisine is the most present and is offered by 30 restaurants, followed by the Netherlands (10) and America (5). The best goes to Davide Oldani, (renowned chef) found in the vicinity of Pavilion Zero.
The wide choice of international cuisine also attracts many night visitors that can enjoy the special night entrance fee from 7 pm to closing time with the opportunity to visit a couple of pavilions and attend to the open events organized by various exhibitors.