GETTING READY: Milan is gearing up for next year’s Universal Exposition, or “Expo,” and Italian fashion designers are jumping on the promotional bandwagon. At a conference Monday [Oct. 27], city officials said the general public would be allowed into designer ateliers during Milan fashion week to see how the latest collections were developed, as part of Expo’s “Creativity and Style” segment.

Over 7,000 events are slated daily during the exposition, from concerts to exhibitions in diverse fields such as sports, science and the arts. The vast majority of events will take place within the city limits, and 43 percent will be in the heart of Milan. A smaller number, about 7 percent, will be held on the outskirts of Milan.  

A study by  the Italian Chamber of Commerce  listed Milan as Italy’s leading cultural hub — ahead of Rome and Turin — with an estimated 14,000 companies in the city centered on creative fields such as publishing, cinema, photography, museums and entertainment.

A new “Ambassador project” is also on the agenda and will allow Milanese retailers to become tourist information points, providing the public with directions and event pamphlets, said Carlo Sangalli, president of the Chamber of Commerce. He noted the city was placing special emphasis on making sure workers speak English and can communicate with an international crowd. So far, 250 retailers have signed on.

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