This year’s World Fair in Milan has reinvigorated the historic Darsena port area. Originally where cargo ships unloaded goods right to the center of town in the thirteenth century, the area has transformed and the Expo architects have now brought pedestrianized walkways, green areas, docks, gardens, and an international market to Darsena. In addition to all the new architecture to see, events all over the city are planned for the Expo.
Leonardo da Vinci exhibit, Palazzo Reale
The opening of this exhibit took place on the anniversary of the April birth of the artist. It is the largest tribute to Da Vinci ever held in Italy and will feature more than 200 artworks from 100 museums and institutions around the world that have donated priceless drawings and paintings to the collection. The Louvre is a major lender and works such as the “Vitruvian Man” will be on display.
Armani/Silo Exhibit Space
Gregorio Armani, special ambassador of the expo, is marking 40 years of work in fashion, and in celebration a permanent exhibit of his greatest work will be open to the public.
The luxury label’s Fondazione Prada will open to the public on May 9. The space, designed by Rem Koolhaas’ OMA architecture studio is housed in a former distillery on Largo Asarco. It will have an educational area for children, designed with help from students from the Ecole nationale supérieure d’architecture de Versailles. Another highlight is a Milanese coffee shop style bar designed by film director Wes Anderson.
The new Museum of Cultures opened its doors in March in anticipation of the Expo. A former factory in the Tortona design district was transformed into the new museum, and has a permanent collection of over 7,000 artifacts from Europe, Africa, Asia, Oceania, and Central and South America, all dating from 1500 AD to the early 20th century.
Garden of Wonders, “A Journey Through Scents”
The “Journey Through Scents” exhibit in Milan’s Orto Botanico di Brera will showcase celebrated perfumes, including defunct ones, and even has an interactive olfactory tour. The exhibit, organized by Yolena Baturina, Russia’s richest woman, and her philanthropy that promotes the greatest minds of the twenty-first century, will also included giant perfume atomizers containing the world’s most historic scents such as those worm by the queens and empresses of years past.
Cirque Du Soleil “Allavita!”
More than 50 Italian and International artists will take the stage to tell the story of a boy who receives a magic seed from his grandmother that turns into an imaginary friend who takes him on a wondrous journey. The troupe will perform at the Open-Air Theater in the exhibition area from May 6 – August 23.
Italian Maker’s Village
Also hosted in the Tortona design district, Italy’s artisan consortium has organized an exhibit that will showcase the work of 800 artisans from all over the country. 1000 events will be dedicated to showing off the excellence of Italian food and craft.
La Triennale Arts and Food Pavilion
Hosted by Milan’s contemporary La Triennale Museum, an Arts & Foods pavilion satellite area will house a series of exhibits until November. The building will host visual installations and showcase sculptures that are based around the wold of food, dining, and nutrition.