At last Rome has its Eataly. The biggest to date in Oscar Farinetti’s inter­na­tional chain of mega con­cept stores ded­i­cated to eat­ing well (Italian-style), at rea­son­able prices and knowl­edge­ably100,000 vis­i­tors crossed its thresh­old dur­ing the first 5 days after open­ing last week.

Farinetti prefers for­mer indus­trial sites for his gas­tro­nomic ven­tures; indeed the sheer entity of the ven­tures requires out­size loca­tions. The very first Eataly mate­ri­al­ized in the old Carpano ver­mouth fac­tory in Turin in early 2007. Eataly Roma, 9th on the penin­sula but 19th in the world (there are 9 in Japan and 1 in NYC), opened its doors in the ex Air Ter­mi­nal of Ostiense Sta­tion, a struc­ture designed for the 1990 FIFA World Cup by Span­ish archi­tect Julio Lafuente.

Cov­er­ing a total of 17,000 square metres, it includes shelf-space for over 5,000 qual­ity prod­ucts, work­shops prepar­ing fresh food­stuffs and some­where in the region of  20 diverse eater­ies (too many to count), all within 40 themed areas pro­mot­ing greater aware­ness about foods and how they’re pro­duced. Because Eataly, backed by Slow Food, also has a mis­sion to edu­cate us about what we’re eat­ing and to pro­mote envi­ron­men­tal and social ethics in the food sup­ply chain. To this end, there’s also a rather smart con­fer­ence cen­tre on the top floor, ready to host lec­tures, dis­cus­sions and events.

But back to imme­di­ate sen­sual plea­sures. It’s tor­ment to decide where to linger longest. There are spec­tac­u­lar deli coun­ters, bak­eries, fresh and dried pasta sec­tions, meat and fish, fresh fruit and veg­eta­bles, olive oils, pas­try shop and choco­la­terie, wines galore and no mean selec­tion of spe­cialty beers. Plus their related places to stop and eat, and the gala Ris­torante Italia with its fine view over the city, Modiglia­nis on the walls and Gian­luca Espos­ito in the kitchen. See the site for details of all those won­der­ful gas­tro­nomic delights that make the qual­ity of life in Italy soar even as the econ­omy plummets!

Speak­ing of which, Rome and its sur­rounds wel­come Eataly as it’s already cre­ated well over 500 jobs for will­ing young­sters and plans to take on more, and there’s a spe­cial empha­sis on local pro­duce in the new store.

Chick­ens invented mar­ket­ing. They lay eggs and then say ‘Cock-a-doodle-doo’.

Oscar Farinetti

Eataly Roma

Air Ter­mi­nal Ostiense

Piaz­zale XII Otto­bre 1492

+39 06 90279201