The food we eat, how we produce it, the effects on our planet: these are the themes of EXPO 2015, themes to which the whole world is invited to contribute.

Because of its rich history and culture, Italy could simply boast of its glorious past... But no, not this time. This time Italy will respond with the future.

The Italian Pavilion’s message is growth: a nursery, to sow and cultivate our country’s best seeds, our hopes, our younger, more vital resources, and watch them flourish, as solid and as robust as trees, to be shared with the whole world.

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In the layout of a Roman encampment, the Cardo was the short axis that intersected the main axis, known as the Decumanus Maximus. The Expo site has adopted a similar plan, with the Italy Pavilion running along the Cardo. It is the true core of the site, both physically central and a centre of ideas - a place to showcase Italian excellence. And at the heart of the Pavilion is Palazzo Italia, designed by Studio Nemesi in Rome using a creative concept developed by Creative Director Marco Balich. He saw Italy as a seedbed or nursery of new energy, and the cradle of a future enriched with a past that can still be a positive, constructive part of the years ahead.

The Cardo is lined with Palazzo Italia, four large buildings, and the Lake Arena, with the Tree of Life at its heart.

A tour of the Cardo is like journey through the small towns and squares of Italy. Four possible itineraries focus on different aspects of Italy:

  1. 1.
  2. 2.
    Local areas
  3. 3.
    Food supply chain
  4. 4.
Cardo Uno
Farming by farmers. The "Fab Food. The Factory of Italian Taste" exhibition will be organised by Confindustria on the South-Eastern Cardo. It shows how to obtain, while respecting the environment and the world's resources, safe, quality, affordable food products in sufficient quantity to feed everyone, using technology and industry.

Coldiretti, located on the South-Western Cardo, shows the link between the economy, Italian society and its farmers. The "records" held by Italian agriculture will on display for everyone to see. Farm food has its own specific area, with traditional farm recipes from the various Italian regions the order of the day.

The area next door is for Granarolo, allowing visitors into the world of milk. A fun take away food shop will serve salad and PDO cheese, sandwiches, pasta salads, takeaway and regular yoghurt with muesli as well as natural snacks.

Copagri, next to the Lake Arena, has a typical Italian street market where farmers can sell their produce and products at stalls. A section of this space is for the sale of Italian street food: pizza and ice-cream.
Along the North-Western Cardo, south of Palazzo Italia, the Italian regions will exhibit, for between one and six weeks, their interpretation of the four elements mentioned above that illustrate Italian excellence: farm produce, tourist highlights, food&drink and, above all, their view of the Expo 2015 theme.

Each will have two large rooms at their disposal (a library and an event area), where they can put their knowledge and know-how on display. Local areas have been assigned spaces on a rota basis. Some regions and provinces, such as Lombardy (South-Western Cardo), Sicily, Bolzano/Bozen and Piacenza (all on the North-Eastern Cardo) will be there for the entire duration of the Expo, whilst regions like Trentino, Calabria, Emilia-Romagna and Irpinia will organize events on small piazzas for three months.
The European Union Pavilion is opposite Palazzo Italia. It has a space for bread and a general focus on "growing Europe's future together for a better world". Sylvia and Alex, the avatars from an animated film, will take visitors through the adventure of building sound cooperation between countries to achieve food safety and security.

The North-Western Cardo gives voice to women through a space used for performances and storytelling. Focusing on the topic of food, Women for Expo will bring together women's experiences, thoughts and recipes and will network female projects and initiatives, in each country, in the field of nutrition, sustainability and cooperation.

An installation with videos, located on the first floor along the North-Western Cardo, will illustrate the value of international solidarity in the form of the Red Cross.
The journey along the Cardo brings visitors into contact with the country and its farming soul, and with the power of the Italian agrifood industry. The South-Western section of Cardo showcases the ancient oil-making mastery of the Coppini family and the refined elegance of Lavazza in cooperation with Fabio Novembre. Walking along the South-Eastern section, visitors come across the artisan ice-cream by Rigoletto that skilfully combines local flavours and know-how.

San Pellegrino, Official Water Partner of the Italy Pavilion, offers an emotional experience with its journey of San Pellegrino mineral water. The Martini Terrace, designed by Pininfarina, overlooks the central Piazza Italia. Here Birrificio Angelo Poretti, an Italian brewery, is back at Expo after its first appearance in 1881.

Ecco Pizza&Pasta on the North-Western section of the Cardo offers two products that are the epitome of Italy. In the Citterio space, visitors can savour learning more about cold meats and salami.
Opposite, the large space dedicated to wine provides a thrilling experience in which the public will need to draw on all five senses.

Palazzo Italia
Inspired by an “Urban Forest”, a primitive but also technological design, which envellops the building. The webbing of branches produces an alternace of shadow and light that alludes to a Land Art sculpture. The architectural project of Studio Nemesi puts at the forefront of its design the concept of social cohesion. Thus, the vital energy of the Italian community concentrates in Palazzo Italia and radiats the entire Expo 2015.

Vivaio Italia is the concept that Marco Balich explored as an answer for the Italian Pavilion. “Vivaio” is a womb for Italian projects, perspectives and ideas that are redefining our present and shaping a better future. Young, promising and sustainable realities find a fertile ground within Palazzo Italia. This incubator articulates an engaging dialogue between the visitors and the visionary minds of Italy.
Italy’s answer to Expo 2015’s core themes began with a reflection on our identity, in the knowledge that our history and DNA contain many useful ideas on how to “feed the planet” and provide “energy for life”.

We designed an exhibition on Italian identity that pays tribute to the extraordinary diversity that distinguishes us while underlining the strength of our unity: all those characteristics that make us unique and instantly recognizable anywhere in the world.

We searched for answers by listening to people and travelling the length and breadth of Italy: our journey began years ago as a research project, which turned into a theoretical framework thanks to the input of two sociologists and an economist, and became reality thanks to the vision of an artistic director.

This is how we respond to the challenge: by telling the story of our strengths.

THE STRENGTH OF WORKMANSHIP: our ability to make land productive while preserving it for future generations.
THE STRENGTH OF BEAUTY, a veritable life force for us Italians.
THE STRENGTH OF LIMITS and THE STRENGTH OF THE FUTURE; an obstacle to overcome that becomes an engine for creativity and innovation.

Everything you will come across during this journey is right there in front of your eyes to be experienced and cherished.
Do it, we’re proud of it...

And we want to share it with the rest of the world.

In the heart of Palazzo Italia, at the centre of the Piazza, ground floor, visitors will be welcomed by two great masterpieces placed one in front of the other in an imaginary “dialogue”.
Hora / Demetra a 1st century statue and a piece of art from an internationally acclaimed italian artist : Vanessa Beecroft.

Right beside, an interactive system will allow visitors to connect directly with three of the most popular and well known italian marketplaces : Campo de’ Fiori in Rome, Rialto in Venice, Il Capo in Palermo.
A sort of a preview of what’s expecting visitors inside the exhibition : a new discovery of the marketplace through all the five senses and a great art piece, “La Vuccirìa” by Renato Guttuso.

Finally Padiglione Italia Shop , a dedicated area to purchase “Orgoglio Italia” branded items.
The panoramic terrace on the fifth floor of Palazzo Italia is the highest and most alluring spot in the Expo site.
Visitors who make their way up to the terrace will find a splendid lounge furnished by Kartell and can enjoy the view of the Lake Arena, with its water features and special lighting, and the Tree of Life, the symbol of the Italy Pavilion that will come alive hourly with music and light shows.
The terrace will be open to the public, except in those moments when one of the rich calendar of events organised by the Italy Pavilion’s institutional and business partners is taking place. The terrace forms part, with the dining hall on the fourth floor, of Palazzo Italia’s ‘top’ restaurant, managed by Peck

The Tree of Life is the distinctive Icon of the Italian Pavilion.

This year in Milan 140 countries will be confronting each other on questions related to: “Feeding the planet, energy for life” and its symbol is the Tree Of Life.

With its 100 trees, the Lake Arena is the wider open green space of this global appointment with a surface of 28.000 m2 and a capacity of 20.000 spectators. At its centre stands the Tree Of Life, a 37 meters high sculpture made of steel and wood.

This icon is linked with the concept of the Italian Pavilion, which is “Vivaio” a fertile ground for green innovation and sustainable solutions. Each project, presented within this incubator, is perceived as a seed of imagination and possibilities that Italy’s plants and cherishes until it blossoms. The branches of this mighty Tree, delivers to the world, embodied by Expo 2015, the fruits of the most brilliant Italian rising minds.

The project’s Artistic Director, Marco Balich, was inspired by the mosaics of the Duomo of Otranto and by Michelangelo’s pavement in Piazza del Campidoglio. The Tree of Life is an element deeply rooted in the Italian culture but also in many cultures from around the world, thus it comes as a perfect hyphen between the diversity of the Universal Exposition.


The Tree of Life: an iconic project towards the sky, the world and the future, a vital source of optimism for our projects, our dreams, our youth.


The Tree of Life isinspired by the Michelangelo’s pavements of Piazza Campidoglio in Rome: this two-dimentional composition becomes a tridimensional steel and wood structure that reaches 35 meters of hight.


A monument to groundbreaking creativity, which is also an outstanding scenographic machine able to produce one show per hour for the entire period of Expo 2015. >>



Four Italian companies have believed in the projects and in the goals of the Italian Pavilion from the very beginning and have made possible >>