The city of Valencia is famed for its commerce. The city's main shopping centres are the neighbourhoods of Sant Francesc and Universitat, in the streets Colon, Don Juan de Austria, Paz and St. Vincent Martir, the Ensanche area (Eixample), and around the Mercade de Colon - a modernist architectural gem now converted into a leisure complex of cafes, restaurants, shopping centre, traditional craft shops and flower stalls. The traditional products and crafts, especially ceramics from the town of Paterna, hand-painted fans, and silk art are to be found alongside the latest in fashion and design, new technology and cutting-edge trends. All the best brands in fashion and home furnishings have outlets in this area.
On Sunday morning, a visit to the Plaza Redonda gives the visitor a taste of nineteenth century Valencia, with its flea market of paintings, books, plants, animals, leather goods and music. Also on Sundays, philatelists and numismatists meet at the Lonja de la Seda for barter and exchange of coins and stamps.
A walk through the municipal food markets, especially the Mercado Central, with its blending of scents and colours offered by the products on display all in a setting of outstanding Modernist architecture, is a delight for all the senses. The streets adjacent to these markets are lined with traditional shops. There are also major new shopping centres which bring together under one roof a variety of shops selling different products; these are generally to be found in the more modern areas of the city.
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