Italy’s slow-food grocery Eataly has announced it will be opening a theme park devoted to Italian food.
On October 8th, an Italian contingent from Bologna descended upon New York’s Union Square Market to announce the city’s latest venture, Fico Eataly World. Launching in late 2015, this food mecca will feature 20 different restaurants, ten classrooms, two aquariums, an abundance of fruit and vegetable gardens, event spaces and much, much, more across its 80,000 square meters.
As you might expect from a venture this ambitious, corporate funding is the prime mover.
I’m not quite sure what this will offer the casual “theme-park” visitor. I suppose animated animals can sell risotto as well as movie tickets. Will they serve bistec florentine on a ferris wheel”?
But a “disneyland of Italian food” would seem to offer little to dedicated culinarians who get their thrills by discovering small, local restaurants with distinctive cuisine, without the high prices or the inevitable kitschy presentation.
I hope it succeeds in promoting Italian food, but their choice of a marketing slogan “disneyland of food” probably tells you all you need to know about this venture.