SEARCHING FOR RUSSIAN ROME




"When everything changes for you, when nothing more remains for you to bind you to any corner of the world, come to Italy"
N.Gogol

"Dear passengers, our plane just landed in Rome" is a phrase that greets thousands of Russian-speaking tourists when their plane touches the soil of the Eternal City. Russians were among the first Europeans to fall for the "Roman attraction" — and by the time of Gogol the Russian cultural "pilgrimage" to Rome had already become a stable tradition.
However, not all the guests of the Italian capital come to visit the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, or Piazza Navona. Up to 5 million migrants come to Italy every year, with one fifth settling in Rome. One fifth of all the migrants are from Eastern Europe
All roads lead to...Termini
Stazione Termini is a modern point of attraction for those who travel to Rome. All year round, 365 days, it is open to millions of tourists from all over the world eager to meet the city. Last year alone, about 30 million tourists visited Rome, 800,000 of them from Russia.
Mix Markt shop - the obligatory point on the map of many Russian — speaking residents of Rome
The focus of my project is food places of the Russian-speaking community in Rome. Indeed, majority of immigrants at some point start to miss their native cuisine. And fortunately there are places in Rome that help dealing with this nostalgia
Oleg,
Kherson, Ukraine

He came to Italy in 2006 following his aunt, having worked for 25 years in the hospital back in Ukraine, in 2008 he received all the necessary documents to live here. He worked in Naples in various stores, including 5 years in an Italian supermarket. He moved to Rome upon being invited to the position of store director.
"I went to Italy because I couldn't provide for my three children with the doctor's salary. I don't regret moving here at all. My whole family is still in Ukraine. My first culture shock happened when I arrived to Naples' piazza Garibaldi, I wanted to quit everything, turn around and leave. But I borrowed money for the move and could not simply return without earning anything. Of course, at the beginning it was very difficult, but people can get used to anything, and every year it got easier and easier for me."

"For me, Rome is life. I absolutely love Rome! I accept it all with all its positives and negatives."
KRISTINA,
SARATOV, RUSSIA
WORKS IN THE PERFUME SHOP. ARRIVED INROME FOLLOWING her MOM. already bought A HOUSE and WANTS TO STAY HERE. "LIVING HERE It is EASIER THAN back h
ome."
"My name is Alberto, I am a regular customer here. I live in Rome, but I am in love with Russia. I have a Russian wife and three children in common. Russia is very poetic. Russian women today resemble the Italian ones from many years ago. I explored almost all of Russia from St. Petersburg to Yakutsk. I have the "Russia sickness" in the best sense of the word. In your cuisine I really like sour cream, cookies and tea. However, I still prefer Italian wine. "

"All the former Soviet Union comes to us, everyone communicates in Russian, when you move, your mentality changes and people begin to see more things in common than things that are different. We all live here as one family. The Italians also come here, usually out of curiosity, they try things and end up coming back."
"Next Station: Basilica San Paolo"
There is no main Russian-speaking neighborhood in Rome, like in many other cities of the world. However there are places and even streets where you can hear a louder concentration of conversations in Russian.
One of these areas is San Paolo.
San Paolo is a district in the south of Rome, which is very often unfairly deprived of the tourists' attention due to its distance from the main central attractions.
Basilica di San Paolo fuori le Mura is one of the four patriarchal basilicas of Rome (along with St. Peter's Basilica, St. John Lateran Cathedral and Santa Basilica -Maria Maggiore). Unlike all the others, it is located beyound the Aurelian Walls, in the southern part of the Eternal City. In 1980 it was included into the World Heritage List.
Most of the Russian speakers in Italy are women who married Italians at a certain point. Usually, immigrants have a university degree from home. If twenty years ago, these women devoted their lives to family and children, now the trend is different. New generation Russian-speaking immigrants are trying to legalize their diplomas in order to get a good job or start a business here.

Natalia,
Zaporizhia, Ukraine

She came to Rome following her parents who moved here in 2000 on the advice of friends. She owns a pizzeria near the subway station. "We don't have weekends off, we don't close. So it's like there's a way to earn money, but it's almost impossible to schedule a trip anywhere. You can't leave this place to someone else. If I can leave Rome to go to the seaside for 3 days, it is already a holiday. Nevertheless, it is wonderful when there is work for you, especially the one you like."

"I often see fellow countrymen living nearby. There are quite a few of them here, many are looking to connect in their native language with people of our mentality who will listen, understand and help. Moreover, many say that it's difficult for them to make friends with Italians."
Mysterious Russian MATRIOSKA
The purpose of the Matrioska Cultural Association is to unite people from post-Soviet countries and give them the opportunity to communicate and remember their roots and their culture. The Association has about 25,000 members (Russians, Ukrainians, Moldovans, Armenians, Romanians, Georgians, Poles, Serbs...), as well as many Italians. Matrioska also specialises in Russian, Ukrainian, Moldovan and Caucasian cuisine, organizes national holidays and private parties. In addition, there is live music every Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

KONSTANTIN KIEV, UKRAINE

IN ROME SINCE 2015, AFTER LEARNING HOW TO COOK DECIDED TO MOVE. TO ITALY DUE TO LOVE OF ITALIAN CUISINE. LEARNED ITALIAN VERY QUICKLY.
"THE FIRST THING THAT SURPRISED ME IS THE MANTALITY OF ITALIANS. THEY THINK AND BEHAVE DIFFERENTLY. WHAT I DO NOT LIKE IN ITALY IS WINTER. I REALLY MISS SNOW "
ROME IN THREE WORDS: BEAUTIFUL CITY AND A BEAUTIFUL MESS.
"OF COURSE I MISS MY MOTHERLAND, HOME IS HOME AND IF THERE WILL BE AN OPPORTUNITY TO RETURN HOME WITH NEW KNOWLEDGE AND DESIRE TO CHANGE SOMETHING IN MY NATIVE COUNTRY."
"After a couple of years of living in Rome, I noticed that now I can easily recognise my compatriots and all the Slavs in general in a crowd. You can't confuse them with anyone. Faces, posture, character, and just the gaze is special."
"Russian melancholy in Italy - is a certain creative melancholy, melancholy for solar joy, for self-valued beauty. Italy must become an eternal element of the Russian soul. The exceptional ethics of the Russian soul seeks addition to the exceptional ethics of the Italian soul. Italy has a mysterious and magical power to revive the soul, to lift the weight off the joyless life. That is the eternal, undying, indestructible Italy. " N. Berdyaev