Eataly, the chain of sprawling Italian food emporiums brought to the U.S. by Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich, is a veritable wonderland for lovers of prosciutto and Nutella — and the company is about to take that one giant step further by opening its own theme park.
Called Eataly World (of course), it's slated for a mid-2017 opening in Bologna, Italy. The park will occupy 20 acres — for comparison's sake, Disney World occupies 25,000 acres — and will incorporate a whopping 25 restaurants. Eataly World was initially announced in early 2014, and while many expressed jubilation at the idea of a "Disneyland of food," Italians were considerably less excited at the prospect.
According to a rep for the upcoming attraction, Eataly World will be "both an entertainment and edutainment park" that will showcase every aspect of Italian food, from production to consumption. "We call it from the farm to the fork because you can see all the steps of the chain, from the animals to the raw materials and workshops and restaurants," said Tiziana Primori, vice-president of Eataly and CEO of Eataly World, at the MIPIM conference in Cannes, France.
City officials are hoping the park will boost tourism to Bologna; Eataly's CEO has said he expects Eataly World to attract 10 million visitors a year.
1) A rock-climbing wall made out of Pecorino Romano
2) Nutella fountains. So many Nutella fountains
3) Employee uniforms that involve Batali's signature orange Crocs
4) Gondola rides on a lake of extra-virgin olive oil
5) Roman baths filled with Barolo and Chianti
6) A gallery showcasing the finest/weirdest Joe Bastianich fan art