Crossing borders (Mercato Dei Fiori in Ventimiglia)

What is it that makes Nice such a wonderful place? Is it the view on the beautiful Mediterranean sea? or turning around and looking up to the Alps guarding the coast? Well it’s both. It’s having a piece of nature photobombing the landscape wherever you look. You also get that in Italy, in a little town hidden behind the Alps, Ventimiglia. 


We went there for half a day with JB, his mom and grandmother. It’s a 25 minute ride and I’ve never crossed a border so easily. It’s certainly not as pretty as Nice… Along the streets, the sky is polluted with electric cables and human installations do not render justice to the mountain.

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But I try to look on the bright side of things (sometimes) and there’s some good stuff about this little Italian town. And when I say stuff, I’m talking about the food market, the Mercato Dei Fiori. I love food markets, they’re a great place to understand a culture, who the people are and how they live. Yes, just by looking at the food they sell, buy and eat. Obviously some of their produce is very similar to what you will find at a market in Nice , gorgeous tomatoes, courgettes and aubergines, olive oil. However, I think the French and the Italian differ fromager-wise. Indeed, you will have a hard time finding Grana Padano or big and bold Parmigiano Reggiano.

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Or handmade fresh pasta of all shapes…

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They do have courgette flowers (still obsessed with those)


And other less edibles kinds of flowers. It was the first time I saw real blue roses… To me, they’re the symbol of a cartoon I used to watch when I was little (Laura ou la Passion du théâtre) so naturally I got really excited.

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If you decide to go, don’t miss out on taking back with you Italian produce. I mean, it’s fun to look at things, but your belly doesn’t have eyes. We brought back some Panettone, parmigiano, biscotti, fruit as it was cheaper in Italy than in France, and I also got some Paneangeli vanillina for my baking.


We finished our little getaway at a  beach restaurant half-way between Menton and Ventimiglia, right after the border: Balzi Rossi

It’s a really nice spot to grab lunch. Service was good, food was great and the setting is superb. 


Here we go my lovelies, the last place I visited on my holiday this summer… Time to get back to uni soon. 

sniff sniff