The three-floor Piazza Italia, a collaboration of more than a half-dozen major food and beverage concerns, is slated to officially launch in Guomao Huamao in October but will “soft open” in the next week or two.
I happened by last night and saw workers stocking shelves with pasta, tomato sauce, olive oil, potato chips, candy, and the like. This a massive and airy space – we’re talking thousands of square meters – with a downstairs décor that includes tans, light woods, and creamy marbles.
A quick breakdown of the three floors:
First: Includes a grocery (pasta, olives, juices, etc), Pausa Caffe (a sign listed Espresso at RMB18, Capuccino at RMB25, and Café Milano at RMB28), and Dolce E Salato, with “easy” foods such as pizza and sandwiches.
Second: Includes sections on Italian wines, meats, and olive oils, a pasta bar called Tutto Pasta, and a cooking school called Boscolo Academy.
Third: Includes a restaurant called Boscolo and chill out area called B Lounge.
The team behind the project includes Crai, a distribution chain, Cavit, which represents Italian winemakers, and Frantoi Artigiani D’Italia, from the olive oil sector.
I heard O Sole Mio playing while I was there. Let’s hope the musical selection is a bit more upbeat. How about some Pia Zadora (hey, she is half-Italian!).