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Lake Maggiore - Markets
by Barbara Rogers
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Markets on Italy’s Lake Maggiore
Weekly Markets Sell Local Cheeses, Antiques, Fast Food and Crafts © Barbara Rogersar.

As much a mirror of local life as a place to shop, weekly street markets around Lake Maggiore offer a lively buzz and a chance to sample some local culinary specialities.

The shopping experiences that surround Lake Maggiore range from discount bargains in the many factory outlets to the high fashion boutiques of Stresa and Ascona. Lake Maggiore lies mostly in Italy, but extends north into the Ticino, the Italian-speaking cantons of Switzerland, so shopping here is a truly international experience.
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No one would claim that the weekly markets that fill the streets and waterfronts with vendors offer items that would fill the suitcase of every traveller. Many stalls have the cheap imported clothing you may find in any market. But they do offer a chance to pick up forgotten necessities or a few small gifts for children back home, and among the junk may be craftsmen or artists, or the occasional secondhand dealer with a table full of antique ceramics from Laveno. And they give a window to the products of local farms and artisan food producers.
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Wherever there is a street market, there will be at least one farmer selling cheese, honey and his wife’s fruit jams. There will also be the local maker of spicy salami, and at least one baker, making the market a good place to gather provisions for a picnic while you engage in some culinary tourism. The best way to get to these is by boat or public transport, since both parking and driving can be difficult and on market days.
 
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On Wednesdays Luino’s market stretches right along the lake shore road. So if you fancy a trip to Italian speaking Switzerland on a Saturday Belinzona offers an outstanding farmers' and food producers' market with crafts in the Centro Storico.
 
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Here are the weekly markets (all are morning unless otherwise noted) that you’ll find in the Italian and Swiss towns around Lake Maggiore and neighbouring Lake Lugano (in Switzerland) and Lake Orta:

Ascona (Lake Maggiore): Tuesday. Lungolago/Piazza G. Motta.
Belinzona : Saturday (outstanding farmers and food producers market with crafts)Centro Storico.
Belinzona: Wednesday Second Hand Book Market, 1:30-8:30, Piazza Magoria.
Canobbio (Lake Maggiore): Sunday
Locarno (Lake Maggiore): Thursday, Piazza Grande.
Lugano (Lake Lugano): Friday-Saturday, Antique Market, 8--12, Fri, 8--5 Sat. Quartiere Canova.
Lugano (Lake Lugano): Friday, Piazza della Riforma.
Luino (Lake Maggiore): Wednesday (the largest, with general merchandise)
Omegna (Lake Orta) Thursday
Porlezza (Lake Lugano): Saturday
Verbania (at Intra, near the ferry dock): Saturdays.    

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