MOSCOW: I asked Jiulietta, who was walking her Spitz dog Chanel in a Moscow park, about her uncommon first name. She said that her great-great grandfather came from Italy to Russia before the 1917 revolution. He named his granddaughter Jiuletta. And Jiuletta was subsequently named after her grandmother.
Miroslava (left) said the current Russian economic crisis has pushed a lot of people, including herself, ''to think about starting projects and following dreams.'' She recently left her advertisement job in Rostov to travel around Italy for a few months. ''I want to test myself in Italy, see if I can assimilate into another culture,'' said Miroslava, who has been studying Italian. ''When you travel, you become more tolerant and generous.'' Her cousin Dasha will leave Rostov as well...but for Moscow. ''If you want to achieve something in Russia, you will have to go to Moscow or St. Petersburg.''
This English-language student said the biggest event of the pasy year was a trip to Italy, her first visit to a foreign country. "I alsolutely loved it. People there are happy, friendly, open...not rushing around and angry at the world." She said she chose English as it's "the language of languages" and loves to sit and think long and hard how to most beautifully translate literature. When not studying, she plays experimental music with her bass guitar. The photo was taken in front of her university.
Igor was sitting in the metro sporting colorful attire and huge sunglasses, the kind you might see a famous pop singer wearing. I asked him what his story was and he gave an unusual response: "I am a Prince. At least I feel that way." He said his family heritage included Italian descendents that were invited by the imperial family to design St. Petersburg buildings. Ironically, he continues that building heritage as a project design student.
Dasha and Lena were sitting on a bench under a big tree on an overcast day in the southern town of Stavropol, relaxing and chating as their summer vacation neared an end. Lena was wearing Nike hightops and a shirt that had NYC written on it in several spots, so I walked over to talk to talk to them. Lena said she studies economics and bought the NYC shirt while on vacation in Italy, which for some reason seems to sell a lot of NYC-themed clothing. Dasha said she studies management, but that her real passion is photography.