Ventimiglia: Crossing the border for a day at the market


Ventimiglia (the french call it Vintimille; this could easily confuse a stupid person, such as me who missed my train because I thought Vintimille was a different place) makes a nice little day trip from the French Riviera.

It depends on your reasons for going. If you want to ‘see Italy’ then there are places further down the coast that would be better. However if you just want a nice little day trip over the border then Ventimiglia offers that. It’s a perfectly nice little frontier town.

On Fridays there is a market. I went particularly on a Friday because of that, although it did make the train very busy with French bargain hunters wheeling their empty suitcases ready for the shopping. The market was huge with stall after stall of handbags, cashmere scarves and cheap clothes. Fake designer labels abound (although French police make spot checks on anyone re-entering France and there are hefty fines if you get caught smuggling in your fake Gucci).

The Friday market

The Friday market

I enjoy markets, however I didn’t spend long at this one. I’m not into designer fakes (even if I knew I’d be able to get them out of the country ok). I’ve seen too many of these type of goods in Asia, and really I’d rather have a nice craft or artisan-type market.

Aside from this Friday market there is also an indoor market open every day, full of flowers and food. I bought some bits from there, including some sun-dried tomatoes. Actually I got rather more sun-dried tomatoes than I intended, due to my inability to guess what something would weigh and what a kilo of sun-dried tomatoes actually looks like.  Not to worry; they’re full of antioxidants.  Not too sure what an antioxidant is, but I think it’s a case of the more you have the healthier you get, so I’m going to be soooo healthy.

The regular indoor market

The regular indoor market

The beach was a somewhat pebbly affair, but the water looked clean and blue.


Then there is the old town, which I really enjoyed having a walk around. You go across the bridge and can climb up to the cathedral for some nice views of the town below.

steps up

steps up


2 replies »

  1. its really interesting to see the local life and the photos are excellent, i like that they can be enlarged to show more detail. there is a father christmas doll hanging on the wall on the left of that alley. it is a weird tradition, to me anyway because it looks so much like father christmas getting too much stress and hanging himself. haha. also in another picture with the scooters you can see all those wooden plagues on the wall containing bunches of pine fronds. i wonder what that is about? another christmas custom i guess.

    • Yeah I bought a new iPhone and the camera really is idiot proof (although having said that I’ve still taken plenty of photos of my thumb). I remember the santa, although I couldn’t see it clearly in the picture. I’ve no idea what was going on with the flags; I just thought it looked very ‘Italian’. The town was interesting, and because everyone was at the market it was quiet to just wander around.

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