The forthcoming Italian food fantasyland serves up pasta, wine, workshops, rides—and adult-sized tricycles.
When it opens its doors in October 2017, FICO Eataly World will be unlike anything the food arena has ever seen: As part of the sprawling, 20-acre complex in Bologna, Italy, there will be 108,000 square feet of orchards, pastures, and gardens; six rides; 40 workshops; and 25 restaurants and food stalls from which to pick your pizza, pasta, and polenta. Adding to the grown-up theme park vibe, there will be 500 adult-sized tricycles with shopping baskets, designed especially for the complex by celebrated Italian bike makers Bianchi.
Diving into the specifics is even more fun. Those pastures won't just have scrubby grass and a few Jersey cows here and there—according to Bloomberg Pursuits, you’ll be able to find nine kinds of cows, five kinds of pigs, five kinds of goats, five kinds of sheep, and rabbit, geese, and guinea hens. (If you've ever wondered where your Eataly bistecca alla Fiorentina comes from, take a look at a Chianina cow, grazing here.) Those workshops? No boring lessons on Excel or how to know you've ordered enough olive oil. Instead, visitors will be able to do everything from walk through the prosciutto process to see wheat, stone-ground, turned into flour, and made into several kinds of pasta. It's a carb-and-wine paradise where you'll likely want to linger for as long as you can. Thankfully, the Eataly World experience is slated to get a 200-room hotel in 2018. Officials hope the venture, which is expected to cost $106 million, will pay off: Admission is free, but Eataly representatives say that they're anticipating six million tourists will visit the complex annually, two million of which will be foreigners. Count us in: Biking while picking out the best in Italian produce and pastas sounds like a Mario Batali–approved kind of trip.