If all the buzz is true, this should be a really big show.
Years in the making at the CAAB (Centro Agro Alimentare di Bologna) and now due to open after a year's delay on 4 October 2017, FICO (Fabbricca Italiana Contadina ('Italian Farming Factory') promises to become the reference on all Italian food and cuisine, in a sustainable way. It has invested over €100m in the project. It will be powered by 44,000 solar panels, the most on any single property in Europe.
On the menu on the 80,000 square metre grounds there will be a demonstration organic farm with various breeds of cows, sheep, pigs, goats etc and orchards; 40 workshops and laboratories with 30 events and 50 courses per day designed for all ages, where you can watch them turn wheat into flour and then into pasta, or watch a cow being milked and the milk turned into cheese ('field to fork' is the motto), although live slaughtering is off the cards.
There will virtual reality experiences, including a look at the future, over 25 restaurants (a rotation of Italy's top chefs is promised) and bars, an organic market and shops, a cinema, theatre and a convention centre. Two thousand companies will be represented. A 200-room hotel is promised for 2018.
They expect six million visitors a year, including two million from abroad. Specially-designed Bianchi tricycles equipped with shopping baskets will help you get around. We can't wait!
Images by: Eataly