Ventimiglia is the new frontier of a humanitarian crisis

On a hot afternoon in the northern Italian border town of Ventimiglia, a group of well-dressed French tourists is making its way towards air-conditioned buses that will take them back to their homes along the Côte d’Azur.

They’re returning from a day of shopping at Ventimiglia’s lively Friday market, a mecca on the town’s seafront for visitors flocking across the frontier to rummage through an irresistibly cheap selection of clothes, food and trinkets.

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