Although spring is in full swing, there is very little fresh produce at FICO Eataly World, the large food park in Bologna inaugurated a year and a half ago. While the FICO acronym stands for Fabbrica italiana contadina (Italian farming factory), visitors can find processed products at most.
Inside Fico on 16th April 2019 at 11.30 am
Regardless, there is nothing wrong with FICO boasting excellent eateries. There is also a wide choice of wine and beers, plus a section dedicated to the production of dairy products and various street food stalls. However, those who saw it as a place to showcase the Italian fresh produce may be a little disappointed.
Operators making artichoke spread
FICO managers must have realized that not many go there to purchase fresh fruit and vegetables, also because Red Delicious apples with large grades are sold at €1/piece.
In addition, the only stall selling fresh produce had 10 punnets of excellent-quality strawberries in total plus Sicilian melons, lemons from the Campania coast, nashi pears, onions from Tropea and tomatoes.
A sign at the entrance announces a greenhouse with a citrus grove, but visitors then discover that the greenhouse is now a house for butterflies and that, to see the remaining citrus fruit, they would have to pay.
Second-quality strawberries are sold at €3.50/punnet (500 gram per punnet), so €7/kg.
FreshPlaza visited FICO on 16th April 2019 between 11 am and 12 pm, and there were quite a few people there, especially considering the time and the day. Visitors were mostly students of all ages on school trips and foreign tourists.
A section dedicated to innovation (entry is €2) called "L'uomo e il futuro" (Man and the Future) illustrates hydroponic cultivation techniques, which are already in the "past" for a few countries (the Netherlands) and commonly used by others such as Italy.