"Ventimiglia: bargain shopping in Italy" Top 5 Page for this destination Ventimiglia by NiceLife

Ventimiglia Travel Guide: 69 reviews and 165 photos

A must-do shopping excursion from the Cote D'azur

Ventimiglia, or Vintemille, according whether you take the French or Italian spelling, sits by the sea just over the Italian border about 45 minutes by rail from Nice. A river separates the modern commercial and seaside resort half from the densely-packed old town, rising steeply up the hill The railway station is the main transfer point between the French national railways SNCF and Trenitalia. Be sure to stop in at the Station Buffet, its one of the best on the planet!

The Friday street market (April - October) runs the length of the town and sea front, and draws tens of thousands of shoppers eager to snap up Italian fashion goods at bargain prices. Street-wise clothes, shoes, handbags, silk ties. Cigarettes from the Tabbachi here are about the cheapest in Europe, and popular with French chokers, pardon, smokers. Plus wonderful selections of cheeses, ham, fruit and vegetables. And lots of inexpensive restaurants for a relaxing lunch after a hard mornings shopping.

Be aware that many Italian shop proprietors are all fully-paid up members of the "Long Lunch-hour Party". "Hour" as in two to three hours. Not uncommon for shops to shut from 1:00 to 15:30. Sunday is VERY quiet - usually a day off for those who worked Saturday. Monday can be very quiet too for the few Sunday openers.

Bag Heaven

Ah, The Bag. Nature's most important accessory after the shoe. How clever of nature to design shoulders, just to swing a bag from. ("And if we didn't have ears, darling, why it would be just awful, our designer glasses would keep falling off!"). Go to London, Paris or Rome, where the essential shoulder accessory with designer pedigree is £500 - £750 ("Its so cute, I must have it! But I can't decide between these two...so I'll just take them both!")

Now go to Ventimiglia and get something that looks little different, for ten Euro. Will it last, you ask. But why would you want it to? Fashion replaces utility, dispose and replace with the next style - you can afford it. And if you can't decide, just buy them all. Then you will need to buy another bigger bag in which to carry home all your new bags.

Style for not much cash

Ever wonder how French women can afford to keep up with the latest look? Look no further than Ventimiglia Market, where all the latest styles are crammed onto hundreds of stalls. Whether its rock-chick chic, or oh so this-season boho, the fashion spirit is here. Chav pink tops, 30,000 ways to make a pair of jeans look ever so very very slightly different, belts which spell designer names in the buckle, T shirts with "DIESEL" written on the front (and no doubt "unleaded" on the back).

UPDATE September 2005
Clampdown on Counterfeit goods.
Though the bag sellers are still much in evidence in Ventimiglia, be warned that the French are clamping down on the trade in counterfeit goods. The new Penal Code allows confiscation and large fines for posession of counterfeit goods and tourists are being targetted, so be warned.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:A day out that's a pleasure for keen bargain hunters
  • Cons:can get very crowded on Fridays
  • In a nutshell:A great day out
  • Last visit to Ventimiglia: Jun 2009
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (19)

Comments (14)

  • giampiero6's Profile Photo
    Aug 15, 2011 at 2:24 PM

    Cool page. I was just looking at statistics and I must say the page looks great and the stats show that this page was engaged with 39% more since redesign. Keep it up! G

  • adema29's Profile Photo
    Jun 12, 2011 at 3:58 AM

    Nice page! I would visit the place (at least for an ice-cream:))

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    Oct 26, 2009 at 9:19 AM

    Hello, Andrew! It's fun to read your pages here! Thank you!

  • Jun 30, 2009 at 11:34 AM

    Stop it! My sides hurt!

  • nepalgoods's Profile Photo
    Apr 25, 2009 at 1:35 AM

    I enjoyed reading your tips. Thank you - Ulrike

  • deecat's Profile Photo
    Jan 5, 2007 at 3:38 PM

    I'm still smiling....your writings about Ventimiglia are so much fun to read. I agree about the police; the markets, the boys on motorbikes, and the gelato.

  • den123's Profile Photo
    Sep 3, 2006 at 4:51 PM

    thanks for info but could do with an update on prices

  • livi4's Profile Photo
    Jan 15, 2006 at 9:28 PM

    your writings on both french and italian rivieras blow my socks off, too. none on me now. it is rather difficult to impress me, but ... i must go down there again... you lucky chap...

  • marinarena's Profile Photo
    Apr 25, 2005 at 9:02 AM

    Excelent page, especially for a woman!!! Great fashion tips that I hadn't know. Thanks!! Marie, from greater Los Angeles

  • olja1234's Profile Photo
    Apr 24, 2005 at 3:53 AM

    Intersting page. Lots of shopping infos...and very good photos. Greets.

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