Walking into Eataly, which was once the old Ostiensa train station (right across from the Piramide Metro B stop) I was overwhelmed by all the sights and sounds taking place in this four-story building. They have everything in here for their customers; a bookstore, ATM machines, travel agency, a place to buy your kitchen necessities, and of course food and wine.
There are seven Eataly’s in Italy, six in Japan, and one in New York City. Oscar Farinett, the founder of the company decided to open these stores because he wanted to offer the best selection of products to his customers at the lowest possible prices. He has kept his word, the prices are comparable to those of a regular supermarket, the only difference is, at Eataly they sell only Italian products from all of the twenty regions of Italy.
Eataly consists of four floors, each offering something different. The first floor has a bookstore, a fruit and vegetable market, and bar where you can get coffee and pastries. If you prefer there is gelato, not just any type of gelato, it’s Venchi, an artigianale gelateria that is based out of Florence.
Making my way to the second floor I discovered many different types of cheeses, meats, and breads. Eataly offers their customers the choice to eat there or, to buy the products and prepare them at home. If you choose to eat at the store, each section has a food court where you can order panini’s or meat platers and eat while taking in the sights and sounds around you.
My journey wasn’t over yet, since there were two more floors to visit. The third floor was devoted half to fish and the other half to wine. After looking at all the different types of fish I made my way over the wines. This area offers wines from all over Italy and the selection is so large it could take hours to make a choice.
The fourth and final floor contains a few restaurants where people can go, sit down and relax for a little while, and enjoy some quiet conversations.
Eataly is a lovely place to visit if you need to buy that quick gift for someone, but for those who want to see small artiginale pastry, pasta, and meat shops I suggest walking the windy, neighborhood streets to find these small shops. It’s in these places that you can really learn the history and traditions of the food you will taste while on vacation.