"If there are no French people, we can close." While Italy reopens its borders this Wednesday June 3 to Europeans, Italian traders in tourist areas are impatiently waiting for foreign holidaymakers to try to save their season. And in the border town of Ventimiglia, the French are eagerly awaited. "I hope they will come back as they used to," confirms the Europe 1 manager of the beach in this town of 55,000 inhabitants.
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French tourists, the sacred bread of Ventimiglia
"Ventimiglia is like Menton, where there are only Italians: the city lives only for them. Here, it's the same with the French," she continues. And to hope to encourage them even more to cross the border, many traders are impatiently awaiting the reopening of the local market, the most popular on the Riviera. "It is one of the pillars of my life," said even at the microphone of Europe 1 Fabrizio Sorgi, representative of traders, who considers the French as his sacred bread. "This is my life, 70% of my income comes from there." He therefore hopes that the return of tourists will be "a rebirth" and warns: "If we lose the season, a whole year of work goes up in smoke."
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A Marseillaise as a call to the rescue
But it will take a little more patience: the market will only reopen in 12 days, the time to put in place the necessary sanitary measures. So in the meantime, it is the inventiveness that prevails to attract as much as possible the French tourists, like this restaurateur who distributes the Marseillaise in his establishment. A way to break the silence of the place, but also to launch a call for help.