You can buy excellent vegetables, nuts, fruits, bread etc on the open markets in Liguria. Especially the big friday market in Ventimiglia near the French border is famous. It’s only 20 minutes from Monte Carlo and offers you the great tastes of Italy and a wonderful chaotic but laidback atmosphere.
On a sunny friday i went by train to the center of Ventimiglia and discovered the many acres of market full of international sellers and buyers. In recent years a lot of African and Chines people started offering goods ranging from electronic devices to underwear. I bought a cotton shirt and leather belt at 52€. The prices are reasonable and the quality is unexpected high. Keep in mind you can bargain quite a bit, don’t settle for less than 20% off!
The vegetables, fruit, bread, cookies etc are still sold by the local Italians, mostly small farmers. They or their relatives are the producers themselves so they are true experts on the products. Whatever the season brings is for sale. Summer is the time for the very tasty beef tomatoes, available in red and green. These are my personal favourite when sliced and combined with fresh buffalo mozzarella (cheese) and some dry Ligurian herbs, fine olive oil topped by a little basilico syrup. Add a glass of prosecco, and you will have a classical Italian lunch with a little twist that makes you believe to be in heaven.
Not only bring the farmers their products to the weekly markets. There also are the big indoor markets, called Mercato’s, where local farmers bring fresh vegetables, cheese, nuts, mushrooms, fruits etc every day. The local food in the Mercato’s is somewhat more expensive then the food imported from Spain, France, Greece, Africa etc that you’ll find in the super markets but it tastes so much better and you will be supporting the local economy as well.
In addition to the daily and weekly markets there are monthly Artisan markets. You will find these in every village along the coast on its squares and boulevards. Small farmers offer their excellent products such as dried herbs, bottled meat and sauces, pasta’s and oils. An experience I can truly recommend to discover the taste of Liguria and celebrate life: “Un brindisi al gustosa e bella Liguria”.