In a bid to turn disused public real estate into profitable tourist attractions, the municipality of Bologna and Eataly, the food chain, have announce that they plan to open a food themed park in what is otherwise called the food capital of Italy. It is estimated that the proposed food theme park will cost about €400 million to develop and it is hoped that it will open its doors to visitors in 2015. It will be located on 80,000 square meters of what today is a lot of unused warehouses. The move comes as a result of a push from the Italian government to turn unused assets into tourist attractions.
According to Paolo Scordino who is the chief executive of Prelios SGR, they have already started raising the necessary funds and so far, they have managed to get about €85 million. The hope is that the theme park will remind visitors of a time when Italy was more serene, not the way it is currently described as a “decadent” country.
There are several such projects going on around the country. They are part of a plan to try and get Italy out of its current financial woes. In Venice, for instance, a project is underway to turn an abandoned island into a theme park which will include a 55 meter Ferris wheel and many other theme park entertainments.
All these projects, it is hoped, will attract even more tourists than are currently coming into the country to see various attractions. Most visitors come to Italy for the art, the beaches and the food but it is now hoped that theme parks will attract a different kind of crowd, the kind that fills Disneyland every day. According to one official, “Each square meter will be linked to a business line and will directly or indirectly produce revenue, as happens in Disney’s parks.”