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July 25, 2019

Italy: Bologna, FICO Eataly World

Filed under: Europe, Food, Italy, Travel, Travel, Writing — Tags: , , , , , — anotherheader @ 8:07 pm

Fresh pasta

FICO Eataly World in Bologna describes itself as the largest food park in the world. It is a claim that’s hard to dispute, as what constitutes a “food park” is poorly defined. Nevertheless it is hard to imagine that there could be a larger version anything anywhere that is remotely similar to Eataly World.

Within Eataly World’s 860,000 square foot mall there are restaurants, food vendors, and production facilities. It is possible to taste, buy, and experience many of Italy’s famous foods, particularly those from the local Emilia-Romagna region. Visitors can see how the food they love is made, not only in the restaurants but also in the factories.

Eataly World is not just for tourists. Bologna locals can come to Eataly World to shop for their dinner, as overwhelming as the experience can be. Shoppers can pick up fresh pasta made while they watch for dinner and a quarter of a kilometer away buy their culatello. It is not an easy place to shop; all of the good stuff is spread out over what feels like a kilometer of mall.

If you don’t want to shop you can always eat. Under the one roof are 45 enticing eateries without a single McDonalds, KFC, or Starbucks in sight.

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Past the retail angle Eataly World seeks to educate its visitors about the food they eat. Separated by glass from the mall are production facilities for pasta, olive oil, mortadella, desserts, cheese, and other famous Italian foodstuffs. Visitors look in and see antiseptic rooms housing the stainless steel mini-factories producing their favorite foods. It’s informative, particularly if you take advantage of one of the tours offered.

If you do decide to visit FICO Eataly World leave yourself plenty of time, bring an appetite, and wear comfortable shoes. Indeed, the mall is so large that they rent a cargo bikes at the entrance for shoppers to get around on. The distracting necessity of the bikes causes a bit of chaos. You just aren’t expecting a bike to come up behind you inside a mall. But it is a minor inconvenience for the glories of the food at Eataly World.

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We visited FICO Eataly World in October of 2018.

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