Eataly World Sets Debut for October 2017; Raises Price Tag to $106 Million
BOLOGNA, ITALY - If you've been following the progress of the so-called "Disneyland of Food," the news that it may open as soon as October will probably have you booking the next flight out to the Italian countryside. Italian news sites have set the much-awaited $106 million FICO Eataly World to open its doors come October 4th.
Eataly, the chain of sprawling Italian food emporiums brought to the U.S. by celebrity chefs Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich that visitors of cities like Chicago and New York might already be familiar with, has been plotting the foodie-focused venture since 2013—and AndNowUKnow has been drooling over it ever since. SF Gate has called the soon-to-be-opening Italian cuisine paradise "the world’s largest agri-food park," and when you look at its lineup of features, it's easy to see why. Including real orchards, gardens, pastures, 40 restaurants, 40 factories, 6 virtual reality experiences, 40 workshops, full scale theaters, and a 1,000-person conference center, the park encompasses a total of 20-acres of foodie fantasy fodder.
"Bologna and the Emilia-Romagna region have long been considered the cradle of Italy’s immense food and wine culture," said Tiziana Primori, Eataly World’s CEO, noting that the area is ideally located to "offer a taste of the whole country from Piedmont to Sicily."
Focusing on a "from the field to the fork" understanding of food and food production, SF Gate shared that Eataly World will offer visitors a start-to-finish insight into everything from beer and wine production to sauce making and prosciutto dry-curing. Guests will even be able to watch wheat transform from grain, to stone-ground flour, to a wide array of different pasta types. The source also stated that around 2,000 food producers and businesses will be involved in the final iteration of the park, with many being small, artisanal companies.
Admission is free, but officials are anticipating an average of 6 million visitors per year. So, if you haven’t yet booked your flight out to Bologna, I recommend you start checking with your travel agent.