The much-anticipated FICO Eataly World opened on November 15 in Bologna, a northern city often called the capital of Italian gastronomy. More farm than theme park, FICO Eataly World is dedicated to sharing the biodiversity of Italian cuisine with the world through its fields, workshops, markets, restaurants, and classrooms, all open to the public and ready for you to explore.
From field to fork, FICO Eataly World invites visitors to learn about — and experience! — the behind-the-scenes creation of Italian food and drink. We want you to think about everything you eat, which affects the producers, environment, and beyond. At Eataly, each forkful of pasta has a story: farmers cultivated grains, millers ground flour, pastai (pasta makers) shaped dough, distributors delivered it to Eataly, and our chefs cooked the pasta to perfection and paired it with seasonal sauce before we drop it at your table. (Don’t even get us started on the story of the sauce.)
Every chapter of the story follows longstanding regional traditions so that you can enjoy the best plate of pasta you can imagine. Now, not only can you discover the entire process in one place, but you can become a part of it.
Covering 20 acres, FICO Eataly World opens in partnership with more than 2,000 companies that will Italian food and drink in all of its regional biodiversity. In Italy, each of the 20 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 saffron from Umbria and pasta made in Campania. The most authentic products can often only be found in certain areas.
Experience regional Italian food through every traditional step at FICO Eataly World:
1. FICO Eataly World houses 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 beef, Sardinian sheep, Ciociara goat, etc.).
2. Using those prime ingredients produced nearby, 40 workshops create Italy’s most iconic artisanal products (fresh and dry pasta, fresh mozzarella, aged cheeses, cured meats, gelato, candies, cakes, olive oil, craft beer, and much more).
3. Next, the shopping center of FICO comprises 2.5 acres of markets and bottegas selling the best Italian food, drink, and beyond. Visitors can hop from stall to stall on a shopping tricycle by Bianchi.
4. Using the same ingredients and products created nearby, regional Italian recipes are represented with 25 themed restaurants, all-star chefs, traditional osterie (local “taverns” serving simple food and wine), and street food carts.
5. Finally, visitors can discover more about the process with 30 daily activities; throughout the year, up to 500 events will be held over the 43,500 square feet dedicated to culinary and agricultural education.
Above all, FICO is 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.
FICO Eataly World is an immense and joyous place where everyone can discover Italy’s great heritage, down to the roots. It is a real agricultural, culinary, and educational park that aims to further connect Italian culture to food in the world — the new old-fashioned way of having fun.
The FICO project was created with respect for the land, thanks to the city of Bologna with Mayor Virgilio Merola and the region of Emilia-Romagna with Governor Stephen Bonaccini. Other key partners include leaders of Italian culinary companies: our own founder Oscar Farinetti and Tiziana Primori of the coop world (below).
Benvenuto, FICO Eataly World — welcome!