Gastronomic theme park of Italian foods to open in Bologna

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IT'S being billed as the "Disneyland" of food: a sprawling theme park in Bologna that will be dedicated to gourmet, artisan Italian foods brought to you by the people behind the global Eataly empire.

Fico Eataly World is set to convert unused warehouses in Bologna, Italy into an 80,000sqm food emporium mecca that will include restaurants, grocery stores, food labs and an aquarium, reports The Wall Street Journal.

The US$40mil (RM131mil) project is a joint partnership between Eataly - which in the US is fronted by celebrity chef Mario Batali - and the municipality of Bologna.

The project is slated for completion in 2015 to coincide with Expo Milano 2015, when Italy will take the international spotlight and vaunt its merits as a cultural and travel destination.

According to the latest statistics out of the UN, Italy received 46.4 million international tourists in 2012 to be the fifth most visited country in the world.

Eataly is an international empire with 26 locations around the world across Italy, Japan, New York Chicago, Dubai and Turkey. - AFP Relaxnews

Tags / Keywords: Lifestyle, Bologna, gastronomic theme park, Fico Eataly World, chef Mario Batali

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