I would be negligent if I failed to tell you about our Eataly adventures. As I noted, we were on a mission. "All roads lead to Eataly," as it was being hyped as the end all for a foodies delight. We began our food journey in Bologna and ended it at the Turin Eataly. We were pleasantly surprised to find an Eataly in Bologna and dove right in and immersed ourselves in olive oil, prosciutto, pasta, cheese, wine, and everything in between. This did not stop us from wanting to see the original store, and once we got there it did not disappoint, I can't imagine it would ever get old. My only drawback from this visit was the inability to take home all of these amazing products and wine.
In 2002, the concept was born from a sketch, one that would house sustainable, organic, artisanal food products from every region of Italy and to embrace the Italian lifestyle where food, wine, and gathering are essential. The first store opened in 2007 in Turin, Italy, and now there are more than 35 stores worldwide.
I know where I am going next in Italy - back to Bologna to see "The World's Largest Food Park" or Eataly World, that opened in 2017 in Bologna and is referred to as FICO (Fabbrica Italiana Contadina). The space is only a million square feet of Italian products and educational opportunities. Apparently, this is 20 times larger than the one in New York City, which you could get lost in for days.
Within FICO there are over 45 trattorias, restaurants, and food kiosks, and the Fontanafredda enoteca serves over 100 Italian wines by the glass. The most unique and exciting aspect of FICO is the amount of education that is highlighted here. There are special visits and field trips available for every level of child education. There are cultural events, sporting activities, and more than 20 cooking courses offered every day. As if that isn't enough to keep you occupied, you can take a tour, visit the multimedia pavillions, farms, production factories, or do some shopping in the markets and specialty shops. This is no doubt the Disneyland of food, and I can't wait to go!