Baking industry showtime in Italy this year runs from May 5-9. In Milan, AB tech expo and AB tech expo pizza - the AB stands for Arte Bianco or white art - will take place in two halls of the ultra-modern new exhibition centre in Milan, called Rho.

Much of the emphasis will be on machinery, although ingredients and finished products will also be represented.

The show is being run by Aldo Taglibue, who always extends a particular welcome to British visitors. The event will focus on bread, cakes, pastries, pizza and pasta, and the machinery used to make them all.

Many of the stands at AB tech expo will have working machinery, capable of producing the most up-to-date items, including Arab-style breads, American breads and the popular Mediterranean breads. One of the latest design features of machinery is an emphasis on health and safety issues and manufacturers will be highlighting this at the show.

Unusually in Italy this year, there will be two bakery shows running simultaneously: SIAB in Verona at the city’s Veronafiera showground with AB tech expo one hour away by direct train, in Milan at the Rho showground. Both shows run May 5-9, which came about after an organisational split. Cheap flights are available to both cities.

Creativity in products, as well as the latest machinery, will be in evidence at both events.

Italy has many different shapes and sizes of breads, while confectionery is leaning towards more use of fruit, so health and indulgence can be balanced.

Verona is a medieval city with a good choice of restaurants. Milan is the industrial heart of the country with a famous cathedral and reputation for shopping. n