Eataly to Open FICO Eataly World in 2017
FICO Eataly World is a culinary destination featuring the best of Italian food, wine, and agricultural traditions from across the country slated to open in Bologna, Italy, in the second half of 2017. The unique space is dedicated to the biodiversity of Italian cuisine, from field to fork, and exemplifies the Eataly philosophy towards food by offering an experience where guests can “Eat, Shop, and Learn” about Italian culture through the country’s beloved cuisine and culinary traditions. A completely functioning community, FICO Eataly World invites visitors to learn about and experience the production process behind Italian food and drink. Each season, it will cultivate typical Italian crops from farms and pastures and process the raw ingredients in 40 shops representing top Italian producers. The products will then be sold in the market area and will also be served in traditional dishes available at the 25 on-site restaurants. Covering 20 acres, FICO will open with more than 2,000 participating companies, 3,000 new jobs, and 6 million expected visitors.
Italian food and drink will be represented in all of its regional biodiversity at FICO Eataly World. In Italy, each of the regions boasts a unique cuisine that draws on the local terrain, traditions, and culture. Just as Americans appreciate peaches from Georgia and oranges from California, Italians seek truffles from Umbria and pasta made in Campania. The most authentic products can often only be found in certain areas.
Following these traditions, FICO Eataly World will house four acres of pastures, fields, and farms dedicated to growing essential regional crops (olives, grape varietals, truffles, etc.) and raising indigenous animal breeds (Piemontese and Chianina cow, Sardinian sheep, Ciociara goat, etc.). Using the prime ingredients produced nearby, 40 shops will create Italy’s finest artisanal products, including fresh and dry pasta, fresh mozzarella, aged cheeses, cured meats, gelato, candies, cakes, olive oil, craft beer, and much more. Next, the shopping center of FICO will comprise 2.5 acres of markets and bottegas selling the best Italian food, drink, and beyond. Visitors will be able to hop from stall to stall on a custom-made three-wheeled shopping bike designed by Bianchi. Using the same ingredients and products created nearby, regional Italian recipes will be represented with 25 themed restaurants, from star chefs to traditional osterie (local “taverns” serving simple food and wine), and street food carts. Finally, visitors will discover more about the process with 30 daily activities, equaling up to 500 events throughout the year at a 43,500 square foot space dedicated to culinary and agricultural education.
Above all, FICO will be a place of learning with 10 classrooms, two miles of educational paths, and six multimedia areas that describe the main products and findings in the agribusiness world. Among these is the Area of the Future, created by Carlo Ratti, director of MIT Senseable City Lab. There will also be the FICO Foundation for Education and Food Sustainability, chaired by Professor Andrea Segrè, who helped conceive of and create FICO. The foundation aims to develop and promote strategies and operational projects to improve sustainability and food education, especially when connected to Italian culture.
“Our vision for FICO Eataly World is an immense and joyous place where everyone can discover Italy’s great heritage,” says CEO Tiziana Primori. “It’s a real agricultural, culinary, and educational park that aims to further connect the world through food from the various regions of Italy.”
The FICO project was created with respect for the land, thanks to the city of Bologna with Mayor Virgnio Merola and the region of Emilia-Romagna with Governor Stefano Bonaccini. Other key partners include leaders of Italian culinary companies: Eataly founder Oscar Farinetti and Tiziana Primori of the cooperative world.