We arrived at the Expo 2015 on Wednesday under rainy skies but our spirits were not dampened. Heading straight to the Cacao and Chocolate Cluster, we visited Sao Tome and Principe exhibit with videos explaining the cacao harvest. I have always dreamed of seeing a real cacao pod and the EXPO allowed me to fulfill this dream. I was even able to point out to my patient sister the importance of the spongy layer I refer to as “nature’s packaging” surrounding each cacao bean. The next stop was the Cote d’Ivoire exhibit where we saw bags of raw cacao. It was nice to see them up close and personal: they look like a cross between an almond and a coffee bean. With a deluge of rain and a influx of visitors we decided to duck into the Franciacorta sparkling wine bar. Not a bad way to end our first day at the Expo!

"Water divides men, wine unites them." -- L. Bovio, taken from the Italian Wine Pavilion