In a few months everybody in Bologna will talk about FICO - Eatalyword. The huge food park is opening on Nov.15th and the hype is growing.
I had the chance to visit the work in progress so, like an original umarell (the old bolognese men who like to watch construction sites), I took a walk inside with my camera to show you a preview of how it will be.
What is FICO?
F(abbrica)I(taliana)Co(ntadina) [Italian Farming Factory] is a 100,000 sqm food park in the east-suburbs of Bologna, born with the aim of becoming the reference venue for sharing of knowledge on Italian food and wine excellences.
Founded by Oscar Farinetti (Eataly), Tiziana Primori (Coop) and Andrea Segreè (University of Bologna), it will be a mix of food market, didactical farm and place for food-related events and congresses.
A view of the main all of FICO
What will you find there?
Lots of things. But let's start from the food: 40 companies from Sicily to Trentino, big brands and small producers together.
My favorite? Early to tell, but it will be great to have in Bologna the organic meat grown in the hills of Tuscany of Savigni and the fresh Romagna's cheeses of Mambelli. Some of our food tours partners such as Forno Calzolari and La Consorteria will also be there to bring local bread and Balsamic Vinegar of Modena.
Of the 16 restaurants inside, my curiosity goes to fish, handled by Rimini's restaurant Guido, to the fresh pasta of Amerigo (one of the Michelin restaurant you should visit if you are in Bologna), and the unusual potato-bistrot by Pizzoli, a popular company of my home town.
Vintage olive oil presses
Education is another key word of FICO: 6 educational carousels with hands-on activities and games will help children and families discover the origins of Italian foods. Workshops and course in collaboration with the University of Bologna complete the offer for students and foodies.
A small arena for intimate concerts or book presentations, a cinema, a meeting hall and a beach area for sports and relaxation will help FICO become a place to spend time after work or an evening with friends.
The entrance of the park: soon the logo will stand there
Will it worth it?
At this stage is still too early to tell. I saw lots of people working hard to open on November 15th. It's a huge bet to become a world reference for food and it could be very important for Bologna to grow both economically and a touristic destination.
Some will certainly criticize this kind of entertainment, but at the moment the only food you can get is from the yellow food truck just outside the entrance.
So keep reading and we'll see how it will appear. I'm really curious about it, and you?
Food truck just outside FICO, soon it will leave the stage for a different kind of street food