Three years ago, Italian epicurean superstore Eataly announced that it would open Eataly World. This "Disney World" of food concept was set to open its doors on November 1, 2015, and boast a massive dining complex and food theme park, in Bologna, Italy. Unfortunately, that date came and went with no Eataly World to be seen.
Now, however, the project is about to come to fruition and you can buy your tickets to the promised land of food. The park has officially announced its opening date as November 15, Business Insider reports. The team behind this Herculean endeavor is led by Eataly founder Oscar Farinetti. Under his leadership, he has designed a 20-acre facility where old warehouses will be converted into restaurants, classrooms, convention centers, farms, and labs.
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Though gargantuan in scale, the food that is served will be normal sized - no towers of Pecorino Romano or salami. There will instead be 40 restaurants focused on different Italian specialties like meat preparations, pasta, pizza, and cocktails. Eateries will range from casual trattorias and street-food carts to "starred restaurants."
Already, there are standouts that are slated to make an appearance at this gigantic eatery. These include the Neapolitan pizza chain Rossopommodoro and the cured-meat purveyor Antica Ardenga as well as a shop dedicated to mortadella. (Obviously, it's called "Mortadella World.")
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There will also be classrooms where visitors can learn about Italian cooking from start to finish. Imagine seeing prosciutto cured and olives brined right before your eyes!
The best part about all this is that entrance to the park is free.
Eataly World was created with the aim of boosting the Italian economy through tourism. Farinetti hopes to do this by using food to draw between six and 10 million tourists a year.
Here's how the park's ethos is described on the official site:
"At Eataly, each forkful of pasta has a story: farmers cultivated grains, millers ground flour, pastai (pasta makers) shaped dough, distributors delivered it to Eataly, and our chefs cooked the pasta to perfection and paired it with seasonal sauce before we drop it at your table."
Plus, it's good for the environment and your body. A large portion of what is grown on Eataly World's farms will supply the 40 shops on premises.
If you've never been to an Eataly, first off, you should. These marketplaces are known for having an impressive selection of fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs, and fresh breads that can be purchased by the community, but that are also sold to supply restaurants with the freshest ingredients.
Secondly, once you've fallen in love, you won't be able to resist booking a plane flight to visit the newest headquarters in Italy. At Eataly World, the same principles of freshness apply -- only at a far grander scale.