Do you like Italian food? Then let us introduce you to the happiest place on earth. Your stomach has probably been craving pasta, pizza and gelato since news of Eataly World first started circulating — and those rumbles are only going to get louder now that the world's first Italian food theme park has announced its opening date.
Due to open in Bologna, Italy on November 15, and calling itself an agro-food park, the site will take patrons on a trip from the field to the fork. That'll involve with six interactive experiences, more than 40 places to eat, over 100 stalls and shops, and a dedicated parmesan cheese bar. In fact, over nearly 20 acres, Eataly World will feature restaurants, kitchens, grocery stores, classrooms, farms, laboratories and more, showcasing everything from livestock, dairy products and the cereals that become pasta, to preserves, Italian desserts and the best in both boozy and non-alcoholic beverages.
As well as boasting free entry — aka making a good thing even better — Eataly World will make daily classes part of its schedule, ensuring visitors don't just wander through this Italian food-focused realm, but can pick up a few new skills as well. To get around the massive area, bikes will also be available. Eating, drinking and cycling in Italy: it sounds like a culinary holiday dream.
The park is the latest venture from Oscar Farinetti, the founder of Italian food and grocery chain Eataly, which has locations in New York, Boston and Dubai. And while it has taken some time to come to fruition — it was first announced a few years back, and then set for a 2015 opening that didn't happen — it looks like it has been worth the wait.
Speaking to Eater last year, Eataly vice-president and Eataly World CEO Tiziana Primori said the park would mix entertainment with education. "We call it from the farm to the fork because you can see all the steps of the chain, from the animals to the raw materials and workshops and restaurants."
The hope is that the park will attract as many as 10 million visitors each year, providing a boost to Bologna tourism in the process. The city already boasts a number of gastronomic attractions, including a medieval marketplace and the world's only gelato university.