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Eataly to Build Mega Food Theme Park in Italy

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Rendering of Eataly World
Rendering of Eataly World
Photo: CAAB/Vini e Sapori
Hillary Dixler Canavan is Eater's restaurant editor and the author of the publication's debut book, Eater: 100 Essential Restaurant Recipes From the Authority on Where to Eat and Why It Matters (Abrams, September 2023). Her work focuses on dining trends and the people changing the industry — and scouting the next hot restaurant you need to try on Eater's annual Best New Restaurant list.

The Italian gourmet grocery mecca Eataly is going to build a food-themed theme park in Italy. The Wall Street Journal reports that Eataly is partnering with the city of Bologna to open Fico Eataly World, and officials are hoping the joint venture will draw tourist dollars and help stimulate the local economy. (According to PBS NewsHour, Eataly CEO Oscar Farinatti says he hopes to get 10 million visitors a year to "play with this magical thing, Italian food.") The nearly 20-acre park will build "restaurants, grocery stores, food labs, and an aquarium" on grounds that are currently occupied by unused warehouses. The project has been referred to as a "Disneyland of food."

Footing the €40 million ($54.9 million) bill is "an Italian fund-management company" that has reportedly raised some €85 million ($116.5 million) in investments, including from Eataly, which current has 10 locations in Italy. The company hopes that by 2019 the park will take in €86 million ($118 million) in revenue. Per NewsHour, mega-Eataly World is aiming for a November 1, 2015 opening.

· Italian Fund Plans 'Disneyland of Food' [WSJ via GS]
· Italy Plans $55 Million 'Disneyland of Food' to Help Revive Economy [PBS]
· All Eataly Coverage on Eater [-E-]