The call it FICO (pronounced FEE-koh). It’s an acronym that stands for Fabbrica Italiana Contadina or, as they translate it on their website, the Italian Farming Factory.
It’s Italian food mogul Oscar Farinetti’s newest project, also known as Eataly World, located in Bologna: A sprawling campus and food pavilion that features “two hectares of open-air fields and stables housing more than 200 animals and 2000 cultivars… 40 farming factories and 40 restaurants,” according to the site.
Many Americans already know Farinetti thanks to his wildly popular Eataly food pavilions in the U.S. (the first was opened in New York and the most recent was opened last month in Los Angeles, a partnership with the Batali and Bastianich hospitality group).
Where Eataly offers guests the experience of shopping at an Italian fish monger, cheese monger, salumeria, or gourmet product shop, not to mention a wide range of classic Italian-theme restaurants (that use products available in the shops), Eataly World goes a step further. Guests at Eataly World actually get to see how food is made, from the milking of the cows to the curdling of the cheese, for example.
As they write on their website, their mission is that of telling the “the story of Italian agri-food culture combining local tradition, high-quality food, and the expertise of those who have always been working in the agri-food chains.”
And what makes it even more compelling is that “all of this [can be found] under one roof.”
Maria Teresa Ceci and Alessandro Ceci recently visited FICO/Eataly World and met with Farinetti (that’s him, second from right, standing next to Alessandro, third from right).
The Cecis couldn’t be more thrilled their Ceci Lambrusco is part of FICO/Eataly World’s offering (in the wine section, of course). But even more importantly, they applaud Farinetti and his newest venture for its celebration of true Italian foodways and Italian food products. There couldn’t be a great custodian of Italian gastronomy than Farinetti, an entrepreneur who has shared the true greatness of Italian food and wine culture with the world.
The Cecis highly recommend a visit the next time you come to Italy.