Milan hosts two major trade fairs this week

Milan focuses on tourism and design.

Milan will be thronged with visitors this week for two important trade fairs: the 37th BIT International Travel Exhibition and the 56th International Furniture Salon.

BIT, as well as providing a prestigious meeting point for travel agents, hoteliers, industry experts and selected buyers from across the world, is also open to the public planning a vacation away from home, but only on Monday 2 April from 09.30 to 18.00 at the MiCo congress centre near metro station Portella.

Travellers do not just visit a place, say the organisers: they want to experience the destination with their five senses, enjoying the flavours, listening to the sound of new languages and music, admiring breathtaking views, and observing the details of the art and culture of a place, but also learning about habits and traditions or “tuning in” to a place by walking, diving, or practicing extreme sports.

To meet this evolution, Bit – International Tourism Exchange – has completely renewed its format. Along with the four main sectors – Leisure, Luxury, MICE and Destination Sport – there are three visitor itineraries dedicated to themed areas enjoying ever increasing popularity: A Bit of Taste (food and wine), Be Tech (digital) and I love wedding (dedicated to honeymoons).

The second major fair – the International Furniture Salon – opens on Wednesday 4 April and will be open to the public on Saturday and Sunday, 8 and 9 April from 09.30 to 18.30 at the Rho fairgrounds.

The Salone Internazionale del Mobile was founded in 1961 as a vehicle for promoting Italian furniture and furnishings exports and soon became one of the most keenly awaited events in the world of furniture.

“The Salone del Mobile has always been a test bench for our city, which is proud to be seen as the capital of design and keen to retain its pre-eminence,” said Milan mayor Beppe Sala last week.

Two biennial exhibitions will be running alongside this year’s Salone: Euroluce in pavilions 9-11 and 13-15, dedicated to lighting, and Workplace3.0 in pavilions 22-24 dedicated to the workspace, as well as the International Furnishing Accessories Exhibition and SaloneSatellite.

Following a long-standing tradition, the spin-off Fuorisalone programme offers nearly 1,400 events concentrated in three main areas: the Tortona design week, the Brera design district and the Ventura Lambrate neighbourhood, mainly focussed on design – always seen as a speciality of Milan.

This year’s programme includes a “dialogue” between architecture and vegetation, held in the Botanical Gardens; an art exhibition in the courtyards of Milan University; street food for breakfast, lunch and supper in the gardens of Via San Vittore 49; craft beer tasting and a free spritz in Via Brera 30, and much more.