Tour Consultant Sofie explored the best of the Mediterranean on tour in Spain, France and Italy—here’s what she had to say about her favorite market indulgences.
Buenos días, bonjour, buongiorno! I recently got back from an unbelievably amazing experience on our Barcelona, Southern France & the Italian Riviera tour. I have always loved to travel and explore new places, and I think my favorite part is learning how to indulge… and boy, did I indulge. I tried the softest of Mozarella di bufalo on the freshest of tomatoes in the Italian Riviera and the creamiest gelato in the Tuscan hills. (I recommend ordering a cone of ‘Nocciola’—you will not be disappointed!)
But you want to know something? I enjoyed every second of it. Life’s too short not to try these things while exploring new places. And if you’re a fan of fresh markets and indulging in local treats while abroad, I have two perfect recommendations for you!
If you’re in Barcelona, plan to visit La Boqueria. (Really, you must.) It’s located in the heart of one of the most popular streets for tourists, La Rambla, and has an incredible selection fresh fruit, meats, cheeses candy and more. La Boqueria is open Monday through Saturday from 8am-8:30pm, but I recommend getting there on the early side to take advantage of the freshest options. You may get slightly overwhelmed with the never-ending selections and over-zealous crowd, or if you’re like me, you’ll find yourself in a personal utopia with all eyes on the beautifully adorned (and not to mention unbelievably affordable) fresh fruit and fresh squeezed juices surrounding you.
Having been to Barcelona before, I already knew this was going to be my first stop after getting off the plane and dropping my bags at the hotel. The thought of which fruit juice to get first immediately shook me out of my jet-lag. I must have spent over an hour in La Boqueria, leaving with a copious amount of fresh fruit that would normally last a few days. It only lasted me the rest of the afternoon, but hey—a girl’s gotta eat!
My next stop was Nice. Nestled in the heart of the Côte d’Azur, I think I fell in love with Europe all over again after being here. I had been to parts of the French Riviera before, but this was my first time in Nice. In the old town, there is a marvelous farmer’s market that takes place in the Cours Saleya Tuesdays through Saturdays from 6am-1:30pm. There you can find strawberries the size of your fist, exotic veggies, confiture galore and a striking assortment of fresh flowers.
The selection is a tad bit more, cost-wise, as what you’d find at La Boqueria, but the quality and the breathtaking views are 100% worth it. Take a look at the picture to see for yourself!
Have you ever shopped at a local market? What did you pick up?