A new Eataly store, the largest to date, opened at the Ostiense air terminal in Rome yesterday.
The grandiose four-floor point of sale site covers an area of 17,000 square metres, 60 per cent of which dedicated to selling food, the rest to catering and education with 23 bars and restaurants, 40 food preparation demonstration areas and eight lecture halls. The store sells 14,000 different products, employs 500 people and houses eight in-view production areas, plus numerous meeting and congress rooms.
Following in the footsteps of the two stores in Turin, the others in Pinerolo, Asti, Ponticello d’Alba, Milan, Genoa, Bologna, the nine in Japan and the one in New York, the new Roman venture represents owner Oscar Farinetti’s attempt to take the finest in Italian taste to the country’s capital, a unique showcase with huge international tourist appeal.
The University of Gastronomic Sciences will also be playing a small part inside the mammoth Roman Eataly with a special exhibition of two unusual anthropomorphic stone statues — one male, the other female — ancient vine poles discovered at Vesime, in the province of Asti, by our dean, the anthropologist Professor Piercarlo Grimaldi.
A display panel explains the history of these precious Piedmontese artifacts, which might be defined the “Moai of wine” (a reference to the huge “Easter Island heads”). Symbols of Piedmont’s great winegrowing culture, they used to silently watch over the grape harvest, emanating a sense of fertility to favor the best results.