Photo Source: FICO Eataly
November is an exciting month for food travelers as the FICO Eataly World opens its doors on November 15, in the beautiful city of Bologna. Dubbed the Disney World of Italian cuisine, FICO Eataly World will go beyond just selling Italian food. It encompasses more than 20 acres in Bologna, which are filled with a variety of interesting attractions.
Admission will be free, and Eataly CEO Oscar Farinetti hopes to attract at least 10 million visitors per year to the food-themed park. It is estimated that over 2,000 companies have signed up to take part in this groundbreaking venture, and the project has created at least 3,000 jobs for the Emilia Romagna region.
Look for 40 farming factories that will allow visitors to see how farmers process meat, cheese, pasta, beer, oil, and other Italian goods. Taste traditional Italian food at one of the 40 restaurants and refreshment stations, and there will be daily classes and events. There are six educational “rides,” dedicated to Fire, Earth, Sea, Animals, Bottled Goods, and the Future.
Explore Italian agriculture at the two hectares of open-air fields and stables that house more than 200 animals and 2,000 cultivars. There are up to 30 events and 50 classes a day held in classrooms and other learning facilities onsite. If you’re looking to take traditional Italian products home with you, you’ll find over 100 shops selling traditional Italian food products in the FICO grocery store.
In addition to all this, Eataly hopes it will become a destination for conferences, as it also offers a congress center that can accommodate anywhere from 50-1000 people.
From the Bologna airport, you’ll take the BLQ shuttle to Bologna central railway station. It’s about 30 minutes by bus from the railway station. Look for bus line 35, and get off at the CAAB Stop.
As you might imagine, FICO Eataly World is pretty massive to navigate. Visitors can walk or bike the theme park on their own, or they can be guided by FICO’s Biodiversity Ambassadors.
FICO stands for Fabbrica Italian Contadina and is part of the Eataly group, which was formed in 2006 by Oscar Farinetti. It started as a distribution and catering chain of typical Italian food products. There are over 20 locations in Italy and across the globe.
It’s no surprise Bologna is home to this exciting venture, as it’s the heart of the Emilia Romagna region, one of the most important food centers in the country. Many of Italy’s most famous ingredients come from this region, including Parma ham, traditional balsamic vinegar, mortadella, and more. The city of Forlimopopoli is also the home to Casa Artusi. Casa Artusi is dedicated to preserving and sharing the importance of the region’s gastronomy and traditions in Italy. Pellegrino Artusi is considered the godfather of Italian cuisine, with his book La Scienza in cucina e l’arte di mangier bene (Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well) published in 15 editions between 1891 and 1911. It’s been translated into different languages and is considered one of the most important books on the history of Italian cuisine.
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Erin is a travel and food writer who currently splits her time between the Netherlands and Belize. She's traveled to 60+ countries on 5 continents with a passion for culinary travel, luxury hotels, and all things Disney. Her writing has appeared in numerous online outlets including Gadling, BootsnAll, CNN, Art of Backpacking, TravBuddy, CBS, and more. She was the major author of Belize's official visitor magazine, Destination Belize 2013; wrote the official AFAR Guide to Belize; and is also AFAR Magazine's local Belize expert.. In addition to writing for other publications, Erin maintains several blogs, Our Tasty Travels, No Checked Bags, Pooh's Travels, and the brand new Caye To Belize. Follow Erin on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google Plus.
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