It’s been three long months since it was first announced Eataly World, the behemoth spin-off of the wildly popular restaurant chain and world’s largest agri-food park, would open in Italy. Now, that dream is finally a reality.
The 80,000-square-metre estate in Bologna in northern Italy officially opened overnight, featuring delicious wares from 150 producers across the country. Eataly founder and total genius Oscar Farinetti said he envisions it being the food equivalent of Milan Fashion Week.
“I hope that this becomes the most important place in the world for whoever wants to study food, eat well and understand the history of food,” Fatinetti told AP. “In this, we need to think big, like in the fashion world.”
Eataly World’s Italian name, “FICO”, stands for Fabbrica Italiana Contadine, or Italian Peasant Factory, but fico also means “cool” in Italian slang.
While entry is free, there are lots of ways to splash your Euros on site, including tours, Zumba classes, rides, truffle hunts and gelato-making classes. There are also 40 “farming factories”, where visitors can see everything from crop cultivation to pasta and cheese production, and 45 different restaurants.
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Kristen Amiet is a previous AWOL editor, bona fide travel addict, sometimes whisky drinker and full-time breakfast food enthusiast.