By Alexandra Patton
Since opening at the end of August, FICO Eataly World has welcomed over 2 million visitors, generating a turnover of 36.2 million euros for factories, restaurants, shops, courses, services. Arrivals peaked in August, when they hit 223,000 visitors. During the summer, about two thirds of the Park’s visitors came from outside Bologna and, of these, almost 20% included foreigners. Between July and August, 2,000 children attended the summer camps of the Fabbrica Italiana Contadina (Italian Farming ) and accessible tourism was also promoted. In addition to individual visitors, about 700 people participated in group experiences for disabled people.
Fico put in action a wide ranging plan of action to sell the Park. For example, there was a television advertisement across tourist resorts and summer events, such as an Aperitif every Thursday, which attracted 600 people to the Park.
Overall, in the first 9 months FICO gave life to 1,000 cultural and entertainment events, linked every month to traditional trades such as millers, farmers and pizza chefs.
The managing director of Eatalyworld Tiziana Primori emphasizes, “We are working to make the Fabbrica Italiana Contadina stand out as a place that is increasingly open and suitable for children, and as a tourist destination for Italians and for foreign visitors.” Primori adds: “Now we are aiming to further improve FICO’s knowledge, attractiveness and offers with new hospitality proposals, tours and courses to highighlight even further the farms, outdoor areas and the animals on display.”
President of the FICO Foundation for Food Education and Sustainability Andrea Segrè underlines: “The mission of the largest food park in the world, which was designed to restore value to what we eat starting from production to reach consumption, is rapidly spreading to an international level… Italian food, in the context of the Mediterranean Diet, is no longer just an attractive element on the table, but it is above all a reference for the optimal style of food and, therefore, of life.”
FICO’s Foundation initiatives are now a reference for the Italian agro-food system with over 200 events promoted in the first nine months and attended by over 30,000 citizens and operators to promote the knowledge of food, as well as training at various levels. A goal that in the coming months will be more feasible thanks to the webinar tool and a partnership with the Politecnico di Milano.
Throughout September, picnics, literary walks and walks in the vineyard, concerts, activities for children, street food and tastings will take place inside the Park and its outdoor spaces. Other events include meetings, dialogues, lectures and many proposals dedicated to agri-food sustainability. The calendar continues with a theme and a different profession every month. October will be dedicated to beer and the brewer’s craft with tastings, festivals, competitions and shows; the month of November will feature the chef’s job and catering, then from the last weekend the Christmas Markets will begin, which will liven up every weekend of December, with many activities for the family like games, workshops and entertainment.