The times when a vacation abroad for most Russians was almost unheard of have passed. More and more Russian girls and women have the possibility to travel around the world and see it with their own eyes.
Sometimes if a Russian girls soul asks for something, it gets it. Not too long ago my gaze stopped on an Italian phrase book in a bookshop. This immediately triggered the smell of my favorite coffee Lavazza, silhouettes of models on a catwalk in dresses from famous designers, a warm sea breeze and a sense of inconceivable lightness. "That's what I need", thought I and went to the cash desk. That phrase book sat on my bookshelf for more than 10 months until I finally realized that my official, unofficial, part-time, and non-recurring jobs had been eating up my moral resources. "We have got to go!", shouted my heart while recalling the allure of far away countries. "I'll buy in Europe", restrained me from purchasing this or that interesting thing in Moscow shops.
Perusing through tourist websites my interest kept returning to the descriptions of Italian tours. Obviously this is what I really wanted so I took a deep breath and went for it. I and a good friend of mine, Sasha, a real travel lover, bought tour packages to Italy.
For Russian girls Italy is a very popular travel destination. It is not as expensive as the Northern European destinations and is a country of romance, music, great beaches and wonderful food.
I liked Rome best of all Italian cities. As with most Russian girls I was impressed most of all by its architecture: historic and beautiful buildings were everywhere. In spite of the immense size of Rome, I felt an unimaginable warmth in the air. We took many city excursions, learned about life in Rome for the locals, enjoyed great food everywhere and of course visited many of the shops.
I was amazed by St. Paul's Cathedral - the largest structure in the Vatican and one of the largest Christian churches in the world. While there all my fears and anxieties seemed to melt away and I suppose I felt what is called the infinite grace of God. "Put your hand on St. Paul's leg and make a wish. But remember that there is no way back," said our guide Natalia. And I asked. And strangely enough I must tell you that after returning back to Russia from Italy, very serious changes began to happen in my life. Circumstances evolved that forced me to make decisions. I learned that there is no way back.
Russian girls also love Venice. To me it seemed like a fairy tale city standing in a network of canals. In spite of the narrow streets you will not lose your way there. Omnipresent signs with arrows located on the walls of most buildings help you easily find St. Mark's Square where all excursions begin and end. The shop windows were shining and the glass figurine souvenirs were shining but the prices were scary. So my friend and I dropped into the Florian, the oldest café in Europe which is famous for its handmade chocolates and cakes and the best coffee in Venice.
Shakespeare made Verona famous with the sad tale of Romeo and Juliet. In the courtyard of Juliet's house, beside a fur tree, were many, many notes from lovers from around the world. There was also a souvenir shop where thousands of romantic post-its were attached to its exterior walls. Many of them were posted by Russian girls.
As with most Russian girls, in Italy I was welcomed with cordiality and hospitality, genuine interest, openness and heartfelt warmth. I enjoyed warm feelings for the entire trip. Immediately after coming back home I cooked some Italian pasta. As I savored its taste I realized that I had brought back the main thing - wonderful memories and feelings from a country that you cannot help but love. And only after this did I begin to think about the Italian clothes, jewelry, chocolate, wine, pasta, olive oil… I had purchased.