On Russia. Про Россию

I have a kind of a love-hate relationship with Russia. And strangely the only person who put in words all my complicated feelings happened to be Carine Roitfeld, former editor of Vogue Paris. Her father was Russian.

"The memories I have aren't from my youth - I went to Russia for the first time when I was forty. For me, Russia is the fairy tales my grandmother used to read to me.
 It's a magical world of princesses, magicians, poetry and ballet, and sad music that brings tears to my eyes. My Russia exists somewhere between Swan Lake and Russian folk tales. It's totally imaginary folkloric Russia hat never experienced communism. My favourite authors are Russians: Dostoevsky, Gogol and Romain Gary, who had a Slavic background. 
I love Russian humor and generosity, and Russian darkness and sadness in equal measures. And I share the extreme sensitivity of Russians, their gloomy romanticism and their profound nostalgia.
I got my children out of bed every morning with music by Russian singer named Vladimir Vysotsky, the Russian Gainsbourg"
From the book Carine Roitfeld. Irrevent. 2011. New York: Rizzoli.

When I read these words my heart is breaking but this Russian is not real. Just as she says. 

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Заброшенный Сан Пеллегрино. Abandoned San Pellegrino

The name of an Italian town San Pellegrino not far from the city of Bergamo is probably familiar to the majority of people thanks to the famous mineral water with a red star on blue background. The fact that some time ago it was a prosperous town popular among aristocracy and other wealthy Europeans is not that well-known. At least it was not to me. All the more was my surprise when we came to the town and passed the factory itself, we found ourself on an elegant cobbled embankment lined with trees. The town is situated in a valley surrounded by hills and parted by a mountain stream. Three crosses placed on peaks of three hills around it as if protecting it.
View on Grand Hotel. Вид на Гранд Отель

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