Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Market day in San Remo

Photo by Jens Juhl
Tuesday is market day in San Remo and today was the day. We walked through the fish market that is open every single day. On display were piles of shrimp, sea urchins, mussels, clams and fresh fish including swordfish, sea bream, sea bass, cod, hake, sole, sardines and every other Mediterranean fish imaginable. Next we walked through to the massive fruit and vegetable market, all the displays beautifully arranged to entice you to buy. Of course there were loads of porcini mushrooms, the Italian favourite, and beautiful ripe orange persimmons. For years the locals boycotted the persimmons as there was a widely believed urban myth that they caused cancer. Years ago the myth had been started by a local hotel that got tired of fresh persimmon marks on the white table cloths that could not be cleaned. Only in Italy.

The outdoor market held three days a week is extremely popular with bus loads of people coming from France to shop. It has the usual knock-offs of any market but it also has some lovely cashmere sweaters on sale for reasonable prices. For any of you who are fashionistas, sweaters with zips at the neckline are popular this year. There are lots of leather stalls with handbags, wallets and shoes for sale. We managed to leave the market without making any purchases.

There are a lot of high-end and haute couture shops in San Remo. Seamus was looking for a scarf and we spotted an exquisite one in a shop window with shades of blues, greys and pinks. We asked to see it and the assistant carefully spread the beautiful cashmere scarf in front of us but at a staggering €350 we exited rather quickly. I was fortunate in finding some black jeans I had been looking for and as a bonus they shortened them free of charge. All I had to do was return in a few hours. This was a plus as everyone here just rolls up jeans that are too long for them.

With our shopping expedition over and the jeans picked up, we once again walked from San Stefano to Riva. Tonight dinner was pizza at a local restaurant. Mine was a simple margarita but delicious. At the end of the meal the server offered us a digestivo. Seamus had a limoncello and to everyone's disgust I had a Fernat Branca. If you have never tasted Fernat it is a type of amaro, a bitter, aromatic spirit. Fernet is made from a number of herbs and spices which vary according to the brand, but usually include myrrh, rhubarb, chamomile, cardamom, and aloe. Let me say that it is an acquired taste but I like it. A perfect way to end the day.

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