Have you ever fantasized about riding a gondola down a river of Nutella? Uh, shyeaaahhh, duh. Well, get ready to bring your wildest food-related dreams into reality (sort of).
Big-name chefs Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich are working to bring such over-the-top ideas to life in the form of Eataly World Theme Park. The 20-acre gourmet amusement park — think of it as the Disneyland of food — is set to open the middle of 2017 in Bologna, Italy.
Bologna is definitely a food lovers' town, as it is; it's situated between the Adriatic Sea and Mediterranean Sea, in the Emilia Romagna area of Italy. While people visit Florence for the scenery and leather markets, and Milan for the high-end fashion, Bologna (which is in the middle of the two, geographically speaking) is visited most often for food. It’s known for it’s balsamic vinegars, prosciuttos, and salamis. And yup, you guessed it: Bolognese sauce does originate here!
Batali and Bastianich came to their developers with ideas such as a rock-climbing walls made of Pecorino Romana, Nutella fountains, gondola rides through olive oil, and Roman baths with carolo and chianti.
Evidently, they learned those were a bit far-fetched (womp womp) but settled on some fantastic ideas actually possible IRL. The theme park will offer 25 Italian-style restaurants. There will be cafes, wine tastings, grocery stores, and cooking classes.
The theme park is part education, part entertainment, but mostly eating everything you see. (We have high hopes that it’ll feel like an Italian Willy Wonka, and Oompa Loompas with charming accents will top up our cabernet sauvignon as we stroll...)
As you explore, you’ll see how everything is made from the very beginning stages: pasta, bread, sauces, dressings, and desserts. There will be oil mills, truffles, artisanal beer, and lemon gardens. If you want to see how the fish is prepaed, you’ll start at the aquarium.
Eataly itself isn’t new, by the way: It’s been around since 2007, with indoor markets in some of the biggest cities in the world, where visitors can shop and eat.
The team behind the new Eataly World says they are expecting to bring in between and six to 10 million people in the first year alone. Will you be one of them?
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