I’ll be honest. Milan was never on the list. There wasn’t much I knew about the city except its status as a universally embraced arbiter of fashion and design and, of course, the Duomo. But that wasn’t enough to recommend it to me. And technically, the little time we did spend in the city didn’t do much to change my mind. That brazen and soulless veneer? Yeah, it’s not just veneer. Our budget “hotel” seemed like it had stepped out of a horror movie from the 70s with creaky floors and dripping taps galore. The walk to the train station was peppered with open gutters and a mouse scurrying across the road. Maybe we weren’t holed up in the nicest part of town but it was enough to make us want to get out of there ASAP!

Thankfully, most of our time was spent on the outskirts of the city at the Expo Milan pavilion. While the idea of feasting on a smorgasbord of food from countries around the world had my inner foodie doing cartwheels, the main reason for making our way to the Expo was to witness Cirque du Soleil.

The Grand Performance

Allavita Cirque du Soleil
Excuse the grainy picture quality. We didn’t have the best seats in the house so I went a little crazy with the zoom function!

One of the largest (or perhaps THE largest) theatrical production companies in the world, it had been a long-held dream of mine to watch Cirque du Soleil in action. And boy, was it worth it! Seated among 6000 people in an open-air amphitheatre under the night sky, we watched the story of ‘Allavita’ unfold in a series of daring twists and turns equivalent to inhuman perfection. How those performers contort their bodies will forever remain a mystery to me. I could spew out words like magical, surreal and breathtaking but I feel like it still wouldn’t do justice to what we saw that night so I’ll just move on to the rest of the story.

Allavita Cirque du Soleil
This one almost looks like a painting, I now realise. Which is apt, considering the entire performance was like a work of art.

The Gelato

Expo Milano
It may look like an ordinary ice cream cone but don’t be fooled! My taste buds are witness to its extraordinary flavour.

I’ll make this quick: everyone knows Italy is famous for it’s gelato and we made the most of that knowledge during our trip but nothing ever came close to that scoop of creamy frozen yoghurt I got my hands on at one of the pavilions at Expo. We were too poor to afford most of the food on offer but that one expensive scoop did much to help me combat the gnawing FOMO.   

The Getting Lost Bit

By the time the performance wrapped up, it was close to midnight and we still had to make our way across the length of the nearly mile-long central artery of the Expo, take a bus to the train station, change a train on the way and then finally walk back to our haunted house of a hotel. Needless to say, we decided to look for a shortcut to the exit. After almost an hour of walking back and forth, feet protesting incessantly and brains beginning to panic, it finally dawned on us that we were lost. Eventually, we managed to locate a familiar corner and traced back the path from where we came and long though it may have been, it finally led us to the bus we had been searching for.

Here’s the rest of the day in all its pictorial glory:

Expo Milan
‘Freeze Your Moment’ doesn’t seem like the best advice when you’re squinting against the sun, trying to wish a pair of sunglasses into existence. Nevertheless, I did freeze the moment.
Expo Milan 2015
Inside one of the artsy fartsy displays.
Expo Milan Korea
My silhouette against the futurisitic, space-like, Korean pavilion.
Expo Milan Chocolate
Charging stations that looked like cubes of chocolate so obviously I pretended to take a bite out of one.
Nutella Concept Bar
The Nutella Concept Bar at the Eataly display – any Nutella lover’s dream come true. Everything was made of Nutella!
Expo Milano Lindtt
Found purpose in life again upon discovering these chocolate cube shaped stools. And feet also thanked me for taking a break.
Expo Milano Lindtt
Creeping up on cardboard cut-out chocolatiers ’cause why not.

19 thoughts on “Expo Milan – Of Gelato, Grand Performances and Getting Lost”

  1. Wow ,Its really interesting and nicely described the experience of visiting Milan.After reading the blog i can’t resist visiting this place.

  2. Wow , what a journey, that hotel room sounded horrible and getting lost isn’t fun , glad you finally figured it out.
    Loved the pictures of the food

  3. Your intro about the way the place looked, the hotel and station, literally took me in to a scene of a dramatic movie. It was a great read, and because I have a sweet tooth, that ice cream and then one of my favourite chocolates, Lindt, made my mouth water terribly. Glad you enjoyed your trip.

  4. First of all it’s my dream to go to Italy & witness all the beauty live like idk when will this happen but anyways you are so lucky ?
    OMG it looks like a scene from animated movie, BEAUTIFUL.
    & Man that ice cream ?
    Did you just say “Nutella Bar”?
    And oh you are so cute plus beautiful.
    Don’t you live in Karachi?
    What are you doing there ?
    Loved this post & now I am like I just wanna go there Right now like right now ?

    1. How are you so nice?! Thank you so much <3 I hope you get to go to Italy one day, I'm sure you'll love it! I do live in Karachi but I was lucky enough to get an opportunity to visit Europe in 2015 🙂 I'm finally penning down my experiences on the blog hehe!

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