Inside Eataly's $106 Million Culinary Destination

© FICO Eataly World

By Gillie Houston Posted November 18, 2016

Within the park grounds, visitors will be able to eat at and explore 25 different restaurants and food stalls.

Eataly, a brand known for their Italian marketplaces around the world, has recently revealed their most ambitious undertaking yet: A massive, 20-acre complex they're calling "FICO Eataly World."

FICO, which stands for Fabbrica Italiana Contadina—or, Italian Farming Factory—represents Eataly's vision for the space, which will be a hub for production, education, and consumerism within one 80,000 square-meter theme park located in Bologna, Italy. The park, according to their vision statement, will be "a place where values are produced, even before produce and products," and encapsulate Italian cuisine "from the seed to its final shape."

Within the park grounds, visitors will be able to explore 25 different restaurants and food stalls contained within the 9,000 square-meter market area, as well as see agriculture in progress at the complex's 10,000 square-meters of pastures, gardens, and orchards.

In addition to the park's commercial aspect, Eataly World also aims to "be a place for food and environmental education," and to "provide children and young people from all over the world with the chance of getting to know the rich heritage of our country." This education will be promoted via 40 different workshop classes, at which guests can learn Italian culinary skills like pasta and cheese production first-hand.

Though Eataly currently operates dozens of stores world-wide—including 13 in Japan, 10 in Italy, and others sprinkled throughout New York, Chicago, Dubai, and beyond—the FICO project is like no other the brand has ever taken on. The theme park is anticipated to draw in six million tourists annually, including 2 million international visitors.

In order to construct and maintain the large-scale project, the company has created some 3,000 jobs, including 700 inside the park itself. Additionally, over 2,000 companies will be represented in the final project, including the producers selling their product in the FICO organic marketplace. According to the company, "We will welcome hundreds of small, high quality businesses that will showcase live their manufacturing and crafting arts. We shall be the echo of their tales, crafts, passion, ingenuity."

Eataly World is currently on track to open to the public in September, 2017. When finished, in order to ensure optimum eco-responsibility, the complex will be powered by some 44,000 solar panels, the most of any single property in Europe, Bloomberg reports. A 200-room Eataly Hotel will also be constructed on the property, and is slated to open in 2018. That way, park visitors will be able to camp out, and eat out, to their pasta-loving heart's content.


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