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Food & Fellini

Food & Fellini

La vita è una combinazione di magia e pasta.” “Life is a combination of magic and pasta.”
— Federico Fellini

January 20 marked the 97th birthday of Federico Fellini, the influential Italian filmmaker celebrated for his fantastical perspective, surreal style, and decadent fancies. While the artist has been gone for more than 20 years, his work continues to inspire artists across many media today.

This extends to Eataly, where our art is a concert of food and drink. In our markets, we share Fellini’s words about life and pasta in large letters across expansive walls. In our restaurants, we aim to bring the same wonder – a sense of magic – to our guests with simple dishes made with starring ingredients.

Throughout Fellini’s prolific career, food features heavily. The director was adamant that his actors truly eat and drink. The meals behind the silver screen comprised good food that was fully prepared and seasoned by his team of expert caterers, with whom he collaborated carefully.

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From the Ancient Romans’ gluttonous feast in Satyricon to his own family’s simple cooking in Amarcord (pictured above), Fellini’s films employ the human act of eating and drinking to pull the storyline – occasionally surreal and always bizarre – back down to earth. Food becomes an art at once visceral, sensory, and alive.

The resulting effect figures into the very adjective created to describe the artist.

"Felliniesque has come to mean a certain Italian sophistication yet earthiness, a fascination with the bizarre yet a love of simplicity, all wrapped in a flamboyant Mediterranean approach to life and art,” wrote European historian Bernard A. Cook. “[Fellini's] films also contain magic moments that transcended realism, and they introduced the world to a certain flamboyant lyricism we now label Felliniesque.”

Auguri, Fellini!

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