Eataly, the leading name in food retail for Italian cuisine, produce and culinary traditions, will soon be opening an exclusive theme park, unique in its kind: FICO – Eataly World. The project for this foodie fun park was born in 2013 and ever since, Eataly has focused its efforts into developing and expanding upon the initial idea until this year, and the park will be finally ready to open by the end of 2017.
The name of the park, ‘FICO’ comes from the acronym of Fabbrica Italiana Contadina, Italian Farming Factory in English, and it will represent over 2000 companies and will host 40 farming factories for a surface area of 11.000 square meters between farms and cultivations. The total surface of the park, located in the CAAB (The Agricultural Center in Bologna), is of 80.000 square meters. FICO will include educational courses and itineraries spanning through the farms and classes located across the park. The park also includes congress centers, restaurants and a market area to showcase produce from the territory, and products and ingredients of the Italian culinary tradition.
What is the vision behind the project?
The mission and the vision behind this grand project is to teach and showcase how all parts of production, from the cultivation and breeding of raw ingredients to the final dish that can be prepared and brought to the dinner table by using them to their full potential, are equally important, not only for the excellence and quality of the final product, but for the development and ethical use of the territory of Italy.
FICO will not just be a park for foodies and tourists to enjoy food in all of its parts, step by step, but it will also be an educational experience, to learn with a new approach notions that are often underappreciated. FICO will be a bridge between generations, teaching young people the traditions and the lifestyle of those people who grow, process and bring food to our tables every day. The objective is to make people get more in touch with the natural environment in which we live and which is fundamental for our sustenance. This will be done at the park through activities and games that will cover the entire food production chain of the Italian agro-food industry.
What will you find at FICO?
Tourists, business partners and children visiting FICO will see the process of growing the raw ingredients in person, and touch with their own hands the produce and results of the farming done at FICO: they’ll have a chance to experience how biodiversity is a valuable asset in the growth of the raw materials and resources. Then, they will be able to join workshops to experience the processing of the ingredients according to local methods towards the creation of food and wines. Individuals, groups, children and families will be entertained with educational and hands-on tours and classes, and there will be many different types of restaurants and street-food stalls to choose from to try the products and dishes at the end of the educational experiences available at the FICO –Eataly World foodie park. But the options for people visiting the Fabbrica Italiana Contadina don’t end here. An extended area of 10.000 square meters will house an organic market and traditional craft stores, so that small and medium businesses of Italy will be able to showcase their manufacturing and crafting arts.
The best Italian companies, sponsoring the park and represented by it will be featured inside the context of a 4.000 square meter event and convention center. This area, at the heart of the park, will host conferences, team-building experiences and food-themed meetings for Italian partners and visitors from all around the world.
When will FICO open to the public?
The opening date hasn’t been released yet, so the best way to know when the park will open is to subscribe to FICO’s newsletter. You can also use the contact form at this link http://www.eatalyworld.it/en/contact-form to get in touch with the park’s team, or you could add FICO on social media through the name “Eataly World” and follow its development and hear the news about the park and it’s inauguration by following the hashtag #eatalyworld.
In the meantime, as we wait for this incredible foodie fun park to open its gates, we can get acquainted with its location and how to reach it.
The CAAB that hosts FICO grounds can be reached from Bologna’s Marconi international airport. Take the shuttle to Bologna’s central railway station and from here you can take the bus (line number 35) and in 30 minutes you’ll reach the FICO Eataly World gates (CAAB bus stop). If you’re going by car, use the motorway and FICO is located at the following address: Via Paolo Canali, 1 – 40127 Bologna.