"Ventimiglia: bargain shopping in Italy" Top 5 Page for this destination Ventimiglia by NiceLife
Ventimiglia Travel Guide: 57 reviews and 139 photos
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.
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.
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: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
Pizza and Pasta and a selection of others, but the Pasta is done to perfection with Italian pride in doing it right.... more travel advice
In the most truly perfect setting, tumbling thousands of feet down to the sea a few kilometers inside the Italian... more travel advice
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