Imagine visiting your local farmers market inside a park complete with working farms, educational tours and shopping centers with local eco-friendly products. What was once imagined has become FICO Eataly World, the world’s large agri-food park, now open outside Bologna. Not only is this a great place to take the family for an exploration in Italy’s agricultural and farming traditions but also to find some of the greatest produce and products in one location.
Spanning 20 acres Eataly World has demonstrative fields and stables with more than 200 animals. Fields grow an array of crops that are used to create food products and sell in the onsite markets and restaurants. While admission to the park is free, there are a variety of tours that visitors can purchase to experience the innerworkings of the farms. Visitors can even learn the art of cheesemaking from cow to cheese curd. Those desiring an up close and personal experience with food can choose from over 40 offerings.
At over 2.5 acres, the farmers market at FICO Eataly World is the largest. With artisans selling food directly cultivated and crafted there, it can’t be any fresher. Housing some of the finest Italian products, shoppers can find anything from flowers to eco-friendly cosmetics and designer housewares. When it comes to dining themed restaurants, factory kiosks, bars and cafes abound giving visitors multiple choices and experiences.
What FICO Eataly World strives to create is an interactive experience for visitors to truly learn and embrace the food that they eat. Classrooms, educational paths and multimedia ‘carousels’ on a variety of topics are throughout the park. One multimedia exhibit, Man and Future, was created by Carlo Ratti, director of MIT Senseable City Lab and focuses on agricultural sustainability practices. Different tours are developed for different ages and collaboration for lesson planning and discounts for teachers and schools are available. For those looking to have the ultimate experience in farm to table, FICO Eataly World is the new destination.
Jennie Olson Six
Cultural Italy Staff Writer