1 This is a side view of Pavilion Zero - the introduction to the Expo Milano 2015 site. It was designed to provide visitors with a look at how human kind has evolved and how cultures and rituals of food consumption have changed. http://www.expo2015.org/en
2 This is the front of Pavilion Zero. The writing on the structure reads "Divinus halitus terrae" meaning divine breath in Latin. The Expo Milano 2015 was set-up on a one-million square meter, or nearly 250-acre, space just west of the city of Milan.
3 These sculptures are by production designer, Dante Ferretti. They illustrate the Expo's theme this year, "Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life."
4 Dante's parade of statues was inspired by the portraits of Giuseppe Arcimboldo, a 16th century Italian painter best known for creating imaginative portrait heads made of objects such as fruits, vegetables and flowers.
5 Many of the walkways were well shaded for visitors and participating vendors. The walkway down the center is almost a mile long. Renowned architects including Stefano Boeri, Ricky Burdett, Mark Rylander and Jacques Herzog Swiss were instrumental in helping the Expo team design the site.
6 The Bahrain Pavilion is named "Archaeologies of Green". The purpose is to share the cultural agrarian heritage of the country with 10-fruit gardens. The gardens each have fruit-bearing trees that will bear fruit at different times throughout the exhibition.
7 Here is one of the gardens of the Bahrain Pavilion. It contains the Japanese banana plant, Musa basjoo.
8 Here is a pomegranate tree, Punica granatum. It is a fruit bearing, deciduous shrub or small tree, widely cultivated throughout the Middle East and Caucasus region, North Africa, and parts of Asia.
9 The fruit tree in the foreground is a Jujube, Ziziphus jujuba. It is commonly known as a jujube, red date, Chinese date, Korean date or Indian date. It is a species in the buckhorn family, and is used primarily as a shade tree that also bears fruit.
10 This year, more than 140 countries are participating from around the world. The Expo area includes large, individual pavilions, food clusters, an open-air theater, its own lake, and a long "main street" through the venue. Expo organizers created an extraordinary event that looks to inform and inspire visitors, and encourage strong global relations.
11 If you look towards the back, you can see the Sudan pavilion. In this exhibit, Sudan seeks to address the challenges of agricultural production and livestock farming.
12 The main street, the Decumano, crosses the entire site from east to west. On both sides of the Decumano are the national pavilions of the participating countries.
13 Angola's theme for the Expo is "Food and Culture: Educate and Innovate". The Angola exhibit showcases Angolan food and fare that can be used to create healthier and more enriched lifestyles for future generations.
14 The Save the Children Village is an experimental village made of wood and recycled materials. The design is meant to mimic the structures found in third world countries visited and helped by Save the Children organizations.
15 This is the Pavilion of the Republic of Korea. The purpose of this pavilion is to showcase the different culinary practices of Korea. The pavilion explores how to use science and technology in the fields of food, environment and human physiology.
Its theme is entitled "moon jar".
16 In addition to the pavilions, the Expo features food focused clusters. This is Rice Cluster - the mirrors enable visitors to see the different varieties of rice growing in fields around the world. The cluster is meant to show rice as an adaptable food. The countries involved with the cluster include Bangladesh, Cambodia, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Myanmar, and Sierra Leone.
17 The Rice Cluster greets visitors with a rural landscape that conveys the vastness and the scents of rice fields. It illustrates how rice grows and how the waters cover and protect the seedlings.
18 The local vendor booths around the Expo were well shaded, simple in design, but adequately visible and very functional.
19 Security at the Expo was well-covered. Aside from a well-manned police force, the grounds were entirely surrounded by security fencing, and more than two-thousand security cameras were installed.
20 I saw this ground covering at one of the exhibits, and thought it was very interesting.
21 The Lindt Chocolate Factory at the Expo attracted 35-thousand visitors during its first week. Located next to the cocoa and coffee clusters, the Lindt Chocolate Factory focused on the quality of their chocolate, demonstrating everything from cocoa procurement to production and consumption.
22 The coffee cluster of buildings was built using simple wooden slats, decorated with coffee bean shipping paper.
24 Here are some of the visitors walking down the "main street" of the Expo. Millions of people are expected to visit the Expo over the next six months, until the event ends October 31st.
25 This is the area just in front of the Coffee Cluster.
26 A giant globe hangs in the central area of the Coffee Cluster.
27 Here is the illycaffe booth getting set-up. As a partner of the Expo Milan 2015, illycaffee was chosen to organize and manage the Coffee Cluster, the large pavilion titled "From Earth to the Cup."
28 This is the personal blender coffee station, where visitors can select one of nine Arabic varieties and create a personal blend that will be prepared according to individual tastes.
29 This is the Illetta, the world's first automatic espresso coffee machine, invented by the company's founder, Francesco Illy, in 1935. The Illetta is considered the precursor of today's modern expresso machines.
30 The Illetta was also the first machine to separate pressure and heating elements to produce espresso that was consistently round, richly balanced and not bitter.
31 The Coffee Clusters take inspiration from the vast coffee plantations located at the edges of tropical forests of Africa and Central America. The Cluster narrates the past, present and future of coffee focusing on the process from bean to cup, the traditions and stories told by coffee farmers and consumers, and the culture around coffee drinking.
32 Within the Expo are various artistic installations, some displaying audio or visual effects or futuristic architecture.
33 Here is a wide view of one of the main walkways in the Expo venue.
34 The site was well-marked and well-organized so visitors could easily travel between pavilions and clusters.
35 Here is the front of the US Food Pavilion - it is an open concept design inspired by traditional American barns.
36 This is the entrance to the US Pavilion, entitled "American Food 2.0: United to Feed the Planet". The 35-thousand square foot building was designed by architect James Biber of Biber Architects in New York.
37 The USA Pavilion's focus is intended to showcase the US as an innovator of food as it relates to culture, science and business, and to highlight entrepreneurism and its efforts to encourage sustainability, nutritional health, and technology.
38 The building is a multi-level experience, which includes a massive vertical farm that is harvested daily. It is meant to be symbolic of a rich, and ever evolving agricultural history.
39 The facade's vertically arranged gardens include growing plants from all 50-states.
40 Here is a view looking above the many pavilions and clusters at the Expo.
41 I bumped into Chef Art Smith - and we posed for a quick photo.