Exploring Eataly

Exploring Eataly

Ever dreamed of what it would look like if the folks at the Food Network were given a theme park? If so, you are in luck.

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Located a half hour outside of Bologna, Italy  FICO Eataly World is open to the public and is dubbed by many in the media as the “Disney World of food.” 

There’s a dairy plant and outdoor livestock stalls along with a mini-plot of forest land that’s home to truffle dogs who show guests how they can sniff out truffles. There are also department store-like fixtures selling state-of-the-art kitchenware, an indoor sports area, a kids playground, an interactive hydroponics plant and 34 factories (including an Italian craft brewery and a flour and rice mill).

 Photo: LIfeGate

Photo: LIfeGate

On top of all of this, of course, is the food! The cuisine at FICO Italy World is dedicated to the best of what Italy has to offer. Some of the courses include a mortadella panini featuring ham made on-site, speared chunks of Parmigiano cheese aged up to 72 months, aged balsamic vinegar from Modena and Reggio Emilia. In addition to the main offerings in the food court, smaller stands offer less known delicacies like lampredotto (cow stomach stuffed in a panino) and gelato machine manufacturer, Carpigiani, offers tastes of the decadent Italian treat. 

The Italian food theme park was first envisioned in 2012 by the Agri-Food Center of Bologna and in 2014, they partnered with the founder of Eataly, Oscar Farinetti, to create FICO Eataly World. 

FICO — meaning “fig” and slang for “cool” in Italian — technically stands for Fabbrica Italiana Contadina (Italian Farming Factory), and the project is the culmination of efforts by private investors ranging from industrial producers, frozen food companies, milk producers, and government regulated agri-food consortiums.

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The complex spans nearly 25 acres (you can even rent a bike to get around) where, In addition to all the food, drink, and spectacle, six educational rides called “carousels” can be enjoyed. These rides show the human relationship with agriculture by the themes of fire, earth, sea, animals, soil to bottle, and the future of food. For Eataly World , the main goal is to serve as a crossroads of food and sustainability that illustrates how Italian products known the world-over are made.


We hope you've enjoyed learning how Italian foodies are Exploring Eataly! Planning a trip to take part in the attractions offered at the "Disney World of food?" Our culturally immersive classes taught by native instructors will ensure that you are able to get the most out of your adventure! Click below to learn more.