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Road to Milan Expo 2015 Part 2: Practical Information

(Photo Credits: Expo Milano Official Site)

(Photo Credits: Expo Milano Official Site)

In the first part of our series of blog posts regarding the upcoming Milan Expo 2015, we talked about why many people consider it to be such a major event. This is mainly because besides being a platform for international good will as well as a major boost to Italian tourism, it is also an event that aims to discuss and present solutions for important issues such as sustainability and the world’s food supply, as dictated by its theme, Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life (“Nutrire il Pianeta, Energia per la Vita“). As mentioned in the previous post, 2015 will be a year when Italy will be putting its best foot forward as it hosts this international event, and that visitors can look forward to a plethora of events that will be held as part of the six-month-long festivities.

Now that you’re better acquainted with the significance and concept of the event, though, we will now be sharing with you some practical information that you might want to know about so that you can start planning your trip to Italy around the Expo. Please note that while we mentioned that there are a slew of events at other locations and at various times outside of the actual Expo Milano, this blog post will be mainly discussing the features and events that will occur at the Expo site itself.

So let’s get started!

expo_milano_milan_2015_Piazza_Castello_Expo_Gate

What is the “Expo Gate,” where is it, and when is it open?

The Expo Gate is a structure located in Milan’s historic center, at the Piazza Castello, that has been built to serve as the main information and event point for Expo Milano 2015 until the actual Expo grounds open in 2015. Opened in May 2104, this is where visitors can get more information regarding just about anything they wish to know about the Expo. There are materials regarding the topics for discussion and the Expo’s theme, event schedules, transportation and accommodation options, information for interested exhibitors, as well as the latest news and updates for the main event. The Expo’s main ticketing office is also located here.

expo_milano_milan_2015_street_viewOther than being an information hub, the Expo Gate also serves as a venue for many smaller Expo-related events that are held in order to drum up more publicity for the main event. In fact, for the month of December alone, included among the scheduled events to be held here are:

  • Christmas tree lightings
  • Outdoor kitchens with food preparation demonstrations as well as talks from popular chefs, food authors, and bloggers, along with a food market and tasting workshops
  • Musical and theatrical performances from the Accademia Teatro alla Scala
  • Pubic talks and panel discussions
  • Book signings

 

And those are just to name a few. Take note that new events are introduced every month until May 2015, so keep checking the Expo Gate calendar to see what they’ll have in store for visitors that month. The Expo Gate is open daily from 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM.

When is Expo Milano 2015, again?

Expo Milano 2015 is an event that will run for an entire six months. It will officially open on May 1, 2015, and close on October 31, 2015.

At what times and days will it be open?

The Expo grounds will be open every day from 10:00 AM to 11:00 PM.

expo_milano_milan_2015_aerial_view

Where are the expo grounds?

The Expo Milano 2015 venue is a massive area of about one million square meters that is located a mere few kilometers from Milan’s city center, in the Rho Fiera neighborhood. It can be accessed on two sides via walkways that have been especially constructed for the occasion, one of which is connected to the residential building of Cascina Merlata, and another that is connected to the Fiera the Milano Fiera train station can be found.

How do I get there?

expo_milano_milan_2015_fiera_milanoThe Expo site is located in an area that is easily accessible from at least three major airports (one of this is the Malpensa International Airport which is one of the major flight hubs in Italy), so flying into the area shouldn’t be an issue. From there, visitors can take either take a taxi to the city center, or shuttles. They can also make use of the highly connected local transportation system, a lot of which have been especially set up for the Expo, and hence brings visitors directly to the site.

Among the routes to take are (as listed on the official website):

  • expo_milano_milan_2015_rho_fiera_milanThe underground metro: Linea 1 connects the central city network system with two car parks at the Molino Dorino and Fiera metro stations.
  • By car, via three main highways: the A4 Turin-Milan-Venice, the A8/A9 Milan-Como-Chiasso and the Milan-Varese; as well as the ring-road (Tangenziale Ovest) that joins the A1 motorway connecting Milan to Rome and Naples. The road system is purpose-built for the exposition and should free local roads from traffic going directly to the Expo site.
  • Expo Express Train system: the new Expo railway station will be built at the west side of the Exposition Site and will connect regional railway lines to Milan’s underground metro lines. Among the Expo’s partners is Trenitalia which is the Expo’s official transport carrier.
  • Equidistant from the exposition site are international, well-connected airports Linate, Malpensa and Orio al Serio. Among its partners, Expo counts on Alitalia as its official transport carrier.
  • There are also local buses and regional trains that can take visitors to the site.

 

Where and how do I get tickets to the Expo?

Expo Milano 2015 currently has a list of authorized ticket resellers, including Trenitalia and the bank Intesa Sao Paolo, along with a host of expo_milano_milan_2015_online_purchaseother agencies and establishments. You can also purchase your tickets online via the Expo’s official site using a credit card (as of posting, payment processors such as PayPal are not listed among the accepted payment methods).

When purchasing a ticket online, you may print out your tickets which you will receive in your email, and present it at the gate on the day of your visit. You can also save it on your smartphone or tablet, and present that upon entry.

When purchasing tickets, be aware that these are completely transferable and can be gifted. However, also note that because of this transferability, and since there are no names attached to the tickets, the Expo organizers will not be responsible for lost tickets and will not replace them. So after you make your purchase, make sure to hang on to it well!

How much do the Milan Expo 2015 tickets cost?

First, there are two main categories of tickets, which are fixed date tickets and open date tickets. As the names suggest, you can only use the fixed date ticket for the dates you expo_milano_milan_2015_credit_card_paymentassigned to it, while the open date tickets allow you more flexibility to select which day to drop by, though it costs a bit extra and the date cannot be changed once you have assigned it. The current ticket prices (as of the date of this post’s publishing) are:

  • Fixed Date Adult: EUR 27; Open Date Adult: EUR 32
  • Fixed Date Senior Citizen: EUR 20; Open Date Senior Citizen: EUR 25

 

For children’s tickets, it must be purchased as part of a Family Package which the Expo also offers at various rates, depending on the number of accompanying parents and attending children. For example, a Fixed Date Family Package for two adults and two children is priced at EUR 67.

There are also special packages for groups and schools, as well as other discounts and coupons that are available. For details on these, check with the official Expo website or ask your travel organizer on what your options are.

All tickets are valid for an entire day.

I’ll only be able to visit the expo during the evening. Will there be special tickets for half-day/evening attendance?

Yes. However, these tickets cannot be purchased online or ahead of time. It will only be available once the Expo opens, and will be sold at the gate.

expo_milano_milan_2015_queueWill there be a queue?

Expo Milano 2015 is a major international event, and as such, large crowds are being expected to show up for it. Though the organizers will try to make it convenient for everyone, you may still have to queue up to get inside, so be prepared for it, especially if you have your kids with you.

Is there a crowd limit at the venue?

Yes. The venue can hold only up to 250,000 people at any given time, so it is recommended that you show up early if you want to get inside right away. Once the crowd limit has been reached, the organizers will restrict entry until other visitors leave. Considering how large this number is, however, waiting times shouldn’t take too long in case the limit is reached.

Will there be lockers or storage facilities there?

expo_milano_milan_2015_luggae

No, there will be no lockers or storage at the venue, so if you’re visiting, we advise traveling light. Just bring a small bag with your essentials in it, plus maybe some reusable shopping bags tucked up inside in case you wish to shop around at the Expo. Though you are allowed to enter the premises with it, it may be better to just leave the heavy luggage and backpacks at your hotel so that you won’t have to carry it around the entire Expo grounds.

Can I bring my kids?

expo_milano_milan_2015_travel_with_childAbsolutely. There are even areas that are meant specifically for kids at the Expo. Take note, however, that all children of ages 3 to 14 still require tickets via the Family Package discussed earlier, and must be accompanied by adults at all times. There are no facilities at the expo for you to leave your children at such as day cares, etc.

Can I bring my infant?

Yes, and in fact, children from 0 to 3 years of age are can enter for free. However, take note that you cannot secure their tickets in advance. Instead, you will have to purchase your own ticket, and collect the free pass for them at the gate by presenting documents that verify your infant’s age.

Can I bring my pets?

No. The only pets and animals allowed at the Expo are guide and therapy dogs for persons with disabilities. Be aware, though, that there are no facilities for animals inside the Expo grounds, so bring your own pet supplies such as treats and water bowls.

Are there any prohibited items?

expo_milano_milan_2015_guide_dog_PWDYes. Of course, no weapons of any kind are allowed inside, and sharp objects such as scissors, box cutters, and razor blades are also prohibited. Visitors are also not allowed to bring in drinks that contain alcohol measuring more than 100mL, as well as beverages in cans or in glass bottles.

After entering the Expo, can I step out and come back inside?

Unfortunately, no. Once inside the Expo, you might want to just stay there until you really want to call it a day. If you need to step out, be aware that you will need to purchase another ticket to get back inside, so plan your trip carefully as you might want to set aside an entire day (or two, or three…) exclusively for the Expo!

These cover the basics of what you need to know when planning out the logistics for your visit to Milan Expo 2015.

In the next part of this series, we’ll discuss the Expo grounds itself and what you will find there, so stay tuned for that!

Read Previous:

Road to Milan Expo 2015 Part 1: What It’s All About

Continue Reading:

Road to Milan Expo 2015 Part 3: The Expo Grounds

 

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By Priscila Siano (266 Posts)

Priscila Siano is the Marketing Director of Tour Italy Now, an online tour operator specializing in Italy travel. She's a respected expert on making dream Italy vacations a reality for clients.

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