Already the preeminent name in giant Italian markets, Turin-based Eataly is upping the ante. The growing global chain has revealed plans for FICO Eataly World, which will take over 20 acres in Bologna and serve as an all-encompassing culinary hub.
The massive complex, which is tentatively scheduled to open in the second half of 2017, will create 3,000 jobs and is expected to draw six million visitors a year, according to a Thursday announcement. More than 2,000 companies will participate in the project in various capacities, including 40 on-site shops "representing top Italian producers" and 25 restaurants.
The typical Eataly market includes a plethora of vendors and dining options. FICO Eataly World will expand upon that concept with four acres of pastures, fields, and farms dedicated to local crops and animals. Two-and-a-half acres will house markets that offer Italian foods, beverages, and ingredients. A 43,500-square-foot space dedicated to culinary and agricultural education will host 30 activities per day, and 10 classrooms, two miles of "educational paths," and six multimedia areas will offer insight into the "main products and findings in the agribusiness world." Because this venture is essentially the size of a small town, three-wheeled Bianchi bikes will be available for patrons to make their way to and fro.
On top of all that, a representative tells Eater FICO Eataly World will be powered by the largest solar panel network in Europe.
The project isn’t cheap. Bloomberg reports the company is sinking $106 million into the venture. There’s also word of a 200-room hotel, which makes sense considering it might take a few weeks to experience everything FICO Eataly World plans to offer.