The HTML gods are Evil, Ventimiglia Open Market & An Awesome Hawaiian Shirt For Me!

HTML Sucks!

For some strange reason, the months for the posts are off by 1 month for some people. Some people have reported the blog post dates are for May while others see June. I doubt I will have time to figure this out now. Sorry :-(

Sorry for any confusion... all the dates are for the month of JUNE.

Ventimiglia - Shopping Nirvana For Susie & Sandy!

So after a quick breakfast we headed out to catch a train for Ventimiglia, which is located just across the border in Italy. Every Friday they have an open street market which is purported to be Europe's biggest. 

But first, a few facts about the city:

  • Prehistoric settlements have been discovered in the area.
  • In 180 BC, it came under Rome's control and accepted its laws. In 49 BC it obtained Roman citizenship from Julius Caesar (100-44 BC) and it was called "Albintimilium" in the Augustan Age.
  • In Roman times the city was enriched with villas, aqueducts, fountains, a public forum, a theater and baths.
  • Through the centuries, the town has been part of Italy and France. 
  • Ventimiglia is home to the Biblioteca Civica Aprosiana. A must-see for any bibliophile, this huge public library, founded by the writer and Augustan monk Angelico Aprosio in 1648, is one of the oldest in Italy. Somehow I don't think Susie & Sandy (the power shopper they are) will be visiting this library :-)  ) 

OK... enough with the history lesson, the girls came to shop. 

We got there at around 10am which is the official opening of the market. The market is situated in a park and extends to the boardwalk which is next to the beach. Here are a few shots to get an idea of the place...

OK so you get the idea... lots of tents and lots of people buying stuff.

Here is a fun series of pictures. This vendor just put out his wares (purses/bags of all shapes & size) ALL for 20 euros each. Here is a shot of his stand just after he put up the sign "20 euros"... the calm before the storm :-) 

Here is the same both about 10 minutes later... let the feeding frenzy begin :-) 

Susie & Sandy made it into the tent a few minutes later, but it was too packed for me to get a pic of them in action. So I had to take this shot about 20 yards (meters) away to capture them in action :-)

This market sells everything. Here is quick sampling of some of the offerings.

You want underwear... they got it...

You want cooking wear... they got it...

You want purses... they got it... and lots of them!

You want evening wear... they got it...

You want a "Ronco Veg-O-Matic As Seen on TV" ... they got it...

OK... that is enough... for now. 

To add to the chaos, there are "illegal" street vendors throughout the market. They sell "knock-offs" or clones/copies of designer products. For example, a guy asked me if I wanted to buy a genuine Rolex (Rolox) watch for 20 euros  (FYI the cheapest Rolex on Amazon is $4,500). These guys also sell copies of designer bags (think Louis Vuitton) for 25 euros. Here is a pic of them showing their wares:
About every 10 minutes, the police walk through the area and these vendors quickly pack-up their stuff and scatter. Once the police leave, they set-up shop again... it is pretty funny to watch. 

The Europeans Must Have Slow Metabolisms :-)

For the past week, we have been noticing lots of women wearing puffy down jackets & vests. The weird thing is the temperatures have been in the mid 70's (23C).  I guess they must have slow metabolisms. Here are the jackets... Susie almost bought one (for the winter)

After about 2 hours of power shopping, we grabbed a quick lunch. This guy was belting out the tunes as we dined... very civilized!
Guess what we did after lunch? More shopping (big surprise :-)  ) Here are a few other shots as we wandered through the market:

Cashmere sweaters...

Some interesting belts:

After about another hour... I just couldn't take it anymore :-)  I kind of felt like this...

I know... I should have been feeling like this :-)

So I told Susie I was going to explore for an hour & then return. So I visited the old town. Here are a few shots...

Here is the bridge from the market area to old town.

Old town...

The old town is a little run-down in some places... but it still is a cool place to visit.

This is interesting. Here is an old roman wall and they build the houses right up to the wall on both sides... 

Well it is time to get back to the girls and have some more "fun" shopping :-)

Here are couple of shots from the bridge:

Here is a panorama from the bridge. To the left of the bridge you can see some of the vendor tents at the market. This represents about 1/3 of the total length of the market which continues to the right of the bridge.

I found the girls and grabbed a few more shots:

I mentioned earlier that you can find anything here. 
So you want a nice mink coat... they got it!

HOWEVER... the ONLY thing I wanted to buy was not to be found in the market... a nice Hawaiian shirt (Susie says there is no such thing as a "nice" Hawaiian shirt :-)  ). BUT the shopping karma kicked in and the very last tent in the place (and I not kidding) Sandy found a trove of Hawaiian shirts... for 10 euros each!!!! I bought one!!!!  I'm happy!!!!  Susie... not so much :-) 

We took the train back to Nice (about 45 minutes) and decided to stay in tonight and cook. We had a great caprese salad followed by spaghetti bolognese. Here was our first course on the balcony...  



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