FICO Eataly World, a theme park for food lovers

Oct 10, 2018 977

BY: Larry Olmsted

Today there are franchised Eataly stores all over the world, from Istanbul to Stockholm, New York to Moscow. As impressive as they are, most pale in comparison to the Italian originals – especially the new mothership, FICO Eataly World, outside Bologna, Italy. The world’s largest agri-park, this is to Italian cuisine what Disney World is to amusement: the biggest and most impressive, operating on multiple levels of entertainment, education, shopping and dining. It is a new tourist landmark, a true destination in and of itself, worthy of a full day – if not more.

A partnership between various major Italian food producers, local and national government consortiums, and Oscar Farinetti, founder of Eataly, it is an homage to the heavily regionalized nature of Italian cuisine, a place to learn about and experience all the various food specialties of the country under one enormous roof – and outdoors. FICO variously means fig, or cool (as in hip), and is an acronym for a food production facility, and Eataly World feels like a shopping mall crossed with a museum. It is full of demonstration production facilities where visitors can learn and see how things like pasta, cheese and gelato are made.

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