IMG_2428-3Ventimiglia Italy

Go to Italy!

A visit to the markets of Liguria, Italy is a very popular activity especially for food lovers and bargain hunters.  Ventimiglia is just a short train ride from France and people flock over the border on market days, particularly on Friday when hundreds of stalls have something for everyone.  My friends and I love going to Italy – as soon as you leave the french border and (some of, most are nice)  grumpy french people behind you will find a happy, smiling and friendly Italian!  I know, I know it is a huge generalisation but it is TRUE!

Well pop over the border to Italy for some happy people!

The change in the temperament of the people is quite unbelievable!The Italian joie de vivre is infectious and you will soon be smiling too!  Loud and gregarious but quite mad behind a steering wheel, so take care on the roads.  They can be very excitable too and are not as keen on dogs as the french, which is annoying for my pooches Freddie and Zarya .  Although in general the dogs are welcome everywhere they are not doted on quite as much as in France.

Ventimiglia:

I’m not keen on market tat and fake handbags but I do love to buy all my fruit vegetables, pasta Parmegiano cheese and all sorts of delicious foodie delights.  The main market Hall is right in the middle of town, one block over from the river.  Then find the Fish Market right at the back of the Market Hall.  The Market Hall is open every day except Sunday.

Friday is the main market day when hundreds of people descend on the town to rummage through the market stalls set up around the town.  If you are not looking specifically for their market, it is more enjoyable to go on another day.

If you go to Ventimiglia there are some wonderful little local seafood restaurants for lunch right on the beach.  Turn right before the river and drive into the lovely old town and you have 3 good seaside restaurants by the beach.  Do not forget to try a Coffee or Ice Cream, just the best in the world!

Tip: Everything shuts for lunch in Italy.  Shops close from 12.30 to 3 or 3.30pm

San Remo, Italy:

I prefer the market in San Remo.  The town is much prettier with beautiful gardens and little restaurants along the seafront.  My favourite food shops are here too!  I go to the Tuesday market.  Catch a train or drive from France.  However, if you are not going specifically for the market, non-market days are far more relaxing to walk about town and by the sea.

PicMonkey Collage-2My favourite deli in San Remo – you can’t miss it near the market

PHOTO: My favourite deli!

Say hello if you go to this Deli, with the best aged Parmesan I have ever tasted.  I buy a massive chunk and pop it in the fridge at home, it lasts for months.  Say hello if you visit, maybe they will give me a discount!

There are many plant growers in this part of Italy too and I buy some fabulous things for the garden.

italy-2San Remo town centre flower stall and food stall at the indoor market

The indoor market in San Remo is a treasure trove, keep walking up the hill and you will see it on the left hand side.  The usual fresh fruit and vegetables along side some Ligurian delicacies.

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Old town in San Remo

You will love all the little clothes shops in San Remo and rummaging around in the old town before indulging in a delicious real Italian food lunch at any of the countless family run restaurants.  My favourite market day lunch is lobster spaghetti – yum!

There are so many little family run restaurants to choose from scattered through the old town.  I like to lunch near the sea and the Port and enjoy the catch of the day fish.

PHOTO; Port at San Remo

There are some nice beaches just outside the town going towards Genoa.

And now over to my collaborators Paolo and Amalia, who are a little further south in Genoa, a wonderful city and if you are there make sure not to miss the red and white museums.  They are Italian and so can give us a real Italian perspective, which is great. Hang around the World:

italiano
The markets are really interesting places where you can learn about different aspects of the city, such as: traditions, history and the smells of the city but also everyday life. It is an opportunity to get inside the city and meld with it.
Every city has its own market and Italy is full of typical markets but today we’re going to know one in particular… Mercato Orientale located in Genova.
The market is in via XX Settembre and it is housed in a large and historic structure. Entering you can already immerse yourself in the flavors and in the smells of the city, thanks to the various street food stalls that sell typical products of the city.
We tasted the delicious pinolate (almonds and pine nut cookies). Continuing the tour you can find fruit and vegetable stalls. Looking through these, we knew the preboggion a mixture of wild herbs typical of Ligurian cuisine. There are also stalls with a wide assortment of meat and fish from the Ligurian sea (such as: triglia di scoglio, orate, acciughe, pesce spada… ). We also have spotted a bakery and a fresh pasta stall that had a really inviting look. Then we had a break in a cafè always inside the market.
After this we continued our tour and we headed to a colorful exposition of plants and flowers of all kinds. Continuing in that direction we came across other stalls that sold clothing, housewares, footwear and there was also a costume jewelry store. Finished our tour we can say that we have found lots of cordiality (in fact we chatted with a sweet old lady who was at the fruit stall with us and she has revealed that what is not in the market, doesn’t exist that means that there you can find everything you need) and also organization and cheapness of the products.
If you were there we hope we have made you relive those moments, if you haven’t been there you just have to visit it and watch the market with your own eyes.
We hope you enjoyed this tour in the Genova market and we hope that it has been helpful. Bye and a big kiss to everyone – Hang Around The World

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Photo: View from Italy looking back to France

Who loves Italy? Yes, that is just about everyone, I think!  The food, Ice Cream, Coffee, wine and the fabulous people together with perfect weather and beautiful sea views and countryside make it just about perfect.  Enjoy a day out in Liguria.

It is a wonderful day out to drive along the coast of Liguria from the french border town of Menton to San Remo.  I suggest you take your passport as border control is stricter these days.

First stop, if you like gardens is Hanbury Gardens

Photo:  Hanbury Gardens

Hanbury Gardens, Corso Monte Carlo 43, 18039 Ventimiglia, Italy http://giardinihanbury.com

Beautiful Botanical gardens established by Sir Thomas Hanbury, now owned by the Italian State and managed by the University of Genoa.  This is a magical place to walk through the fabulous gardens, I always find inspiration for my own Mediterranean garden.

VENTIMIGLIA

PHOTO: Ventimiglia old town

Continue along the coast road until you come to Ventimiglia.  This is not the prettiest town but the the Old town pictured above is worth a visit.  I like the little seaside restaurants, particularly those in the old town. Find time for a delicious cup of Italian coffee, visit the daily food market where you will find every Italian delicacy possible.

Daily food and fish Market in the Market Hall.  A lot of french people like to shop in Italy because it is so much cheaper than France.  You will see so many shops selling alcohol and Spirits.  Main market day is Friday.

Pinnable Photo:

BORDIGHERA

Continue along the coast road for a few kilometres and you will come to Bordighera, a seaside town with great seaside restaurants and lovely shops!  You will notice that everything is cheaper in Italy than over the border on the french Riviera!

I would recommend you wait until Italy to shop.  Great shoes, chic clothes and low prices!

PHOTO:  Lunch in Bordighera

A fish based lunch in Bordighera is a delicious treat!  However, don’t forget the shop opening hours in Italy.  All the shops close between 12.30 and 3.30 or 4.00pm.

If you don’t have a car, the Italian coast is easily accessible by train from France with trains twice an hour that sop all along the coast.

SAN REMO

PHOTO: SAN REMO

Final destination is San Remo, main market days are Tuesday and Saturday here but again, the Food Market Hall opens every day except Sunday and is well worth a visit.  My favourite delicatessen is in the square before the market.

PHOTO: This is where I buy my Parmesan Cheese

Again, you are spoiled for choice with little family owned restaurants by the sea.  The fish could not be fresher.  One of my favourite treats is lobster and spaghetti and a bottle of Italian Rose, perfect!

There are so many really good shops here.  Choose from the well known names such as Max Mara or explore tiny boutiques with original designs.

PHOTO:  Old Town San Remo

Explore the tiny streets of the old town and discover so many little shops selling absolutely everything!

PHOTO: Shopping in San Remo

PHOTO: SAN REMO PORT

The seafront is full of little cafes and restaurants.