The following article, written by Colleen Barry, appears on Boston.com.
BOLOGNA, Italy (AP) — The man behind the Eataly food empire is opening a massive attraction — part permanent trade fair, part agro-food theme park — that aims to create a showcase for excellence in Italian food.
Eataly’s owner Oscar Farinetti hopes Eataly World, opening Nov. 15 in Bologna, will boost tourism and even food exports. The experience is designed to increase demand for Italian food along with brand loyalty and consumer interest in the 150 or so food businesses represented.
Eataly already has nearly 40 stores worldwide, the newest one in Los Angeles. The company intends to list a 30 percent stake on the Milan stock exchange in 2018 or 2019.
Visitors to Eataly World can follow food production from field and stall right to their plates. They’ll see grain growing in the fields, milled into flour, processed into pasta and served at the table. Workshops will show how to refine rice and hunt for truffles, along with cooking classes for making fresh pasta, sorbetto or pizza.
Eataly World includes 47 restaurants and bars, some 40 production areas making everything from gelato to candied fruit, 22 gardens and half a dozen stalls with cows, sheep, goats, pigs and chickens. The site, covering 100,000 square meters (more than 1 million square feet) in a former wholesale fruit and vegetable market on the outskirts of Bologna.
Farinetti wants to do for Italian food what Milan Fashion Week has done for Italy’s ready-to-wear industry: Create a global showcase for excellence that stimulates demand across the sector. Continue reading at Boston.com.