Ventimiglia main street: Shoes and bags galore
Never mind the market, there is lots of shopping with the permanent shops crammed full of goodies to try and buy.
Leather goods are a real bargain. Almost certainly counterfeit and made in sweatshops around the world copying western designs, nevertheless you can find great value here provided you are willing to pinch your nose at the morality of it all.
Many of the Ventimiglia leather goods shops are all run by the same extended family of what I took to be Koreans. Similar South East Asian sellers of plastic binoculars and mock designer glasses line the bridge which joins the old and new Ventimiglia. A Yakuza-like tough in shades and leather sat by us in a restaurant, ordered the most expensive seafood pasta, and after munching, wandered off without paying - it wasn't expected. Protection at a price. How this came about who knows, but there is some pain beneath the surface of happy commerce.
Tabachierra: Cheapest cigarettes in Europe
Dotted around Ventimiglia are specialist Tabacs selling all international brands of cigarettes
What to buy: Ever since the French hiked the tax earlier this year, Italy is now the smokers friend, with Marlboro at €3.50 a pack of twenty.
Means nothing to me since I gave up smoking thirty years ago, and save atleast €7 a day by not smoking, however those reprobates that still take the smoke will love you for bringing them back cheap ciggies.
Being in Italian, the health warnings on the pack may not be understandable and so safer to smoke.
Eurodrink - just like duty free used to be: In vino veritas - get your truth drugs here
Before the EU eliminated duty free shopping we would have a great day out on cross channel ferries and come home smashed and loaded with cheap booze.
Now thats a thing of the past but you can get the same buzz wandering around Vertimiglia's booze emporia
What to buy: Abslotoolely everything - as musssh as you can carryzyz.
What to pay: Expect 15% below French prices, which are about 15-20% less than English prices, which is about 60% of Swedish prices. Got it?
Fruit & vegetable market
This is not about the much-loved by foreign tourists Friday market – jeans, scarfs etc.
What to buy: This is about the everyday market where the locals buy their food.
What to pay: And it is, as you can see, very sensibly priced – I haven’t seen very outrageously rich people here.
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