Many people have been wondering what Lineapelle would be like away from Bologna. Now we know. So far, the experience has been positive and for many people at the show these past two days they have been asking, “Why didn’t UNIC do this years ago?” Well, that’s a long and complicated story and the final chapters are still to be played out and written in the Italian legal system.

The construction and layout of the Fiera Milano Rho is modern and much, much simpler to navigate than the “dogs breakfast” of an exhibition centre of Bologna Fiera. The halls are open, spacious and I never was disorientated. Getting lost around Bologna fiera was a regular occurence, even after attending fifteen plus shows there.

The exhibitors, particularly the larger Italian tanners, had spacious and very eye-catching stands and the halls looked attractive to visitors. No bare concrete floors like we saw at the Shanghai fair last week here.

The Rho show grounds are modern, transport by taxi, bus or train seemed relatively straight forward as long as you can be delivered to the South entrance (by the NH hotel). I found that arriving at the main East entrance invloved a half kilometre walk to get to the halls where Lineapelle is situated.

Quite a lot of visitors from Asia seemed to be visiting the show and international flight connections to Milan surely made getting to the show from the Far East a simpler trip. The number of Russian visitors was reported to be down due to the current political situation.

Remember those awful queues for taxi’s and buses in Bologna? it seemed much less hassle to find a free shuttle bus going to the airport(s) or the central railway station from Rho. Although I didn’t get any real opportunity to see much of Milan I was told that the restaurants are good and the nighlife is more dynamic than Bologna. Although for sure, Bologna is a more beautiful place to visit. Hotel prices seemed reasonable and not inflated. Another, problem visitors to Bologna often faced.

In conclusion, it has been a welcome move to Milan and now Lineapelle will never return to Bologna. But it is completely irrelavent how nice the show looks and how easy it is to get there. The main thing is that the visitors turn up and buy leather from the tanners. At the end of the day, that’s what really counts.

Martin Ricker, Content Director