The Russian-Italian Cultural Association “Russky Klub”

The Russian-Italian Cultural Association “Russky Klub” has existed in Rome for more than 10 years. During the whole time it has been actively developing cultural and commercial connections between Italy and Russia. It has been productive in popularizing Russian culture and keeping the interest of the Russian speaking community of Italy, immigrants from the former USSR, focused on their native culture in all its manifestations.

In addition to organizing their own events of cultural and social significance with the participation of the Russian speaking actors, writers and artists, “Russky Klub” actively collaborates with the Embassy of Russia in Italy, Russian compatriot associations, and other public, government and commercial organizations of Russia in Italy. Ever since it was established, “Russky Klub” has been a part of the Coordinating Council of Associations of Russian Compatriots in Italy.

Irina Raskina is the president of “Russky Klub”. For 30 years she, a native Muscovite, has lived in Rome, but she has kept a spiritual connection with the Motherland. She is proud of her Russian culture and tries to introduce it to the Italians. All these years in Italy for Irina have been years of continuous and diverse activities in the commercial, cultural and social spheres.

During her childhood Irina accompanied her father, a well-known journalist, on his business trips around the Soviet Union. While still in school, she had taken the course of Photojournalism at the House of Journalists in Moscow and traveled around the country helping her father with the photoshoots for the magazine “Journey to the USSR”, for “Intourist” hotel promotional booklets and other publications. Her photos were also used for postcard sets.

Irina cares about the lives of her fellow countrymen and women who have come to Italy through different circumstances. She tries to help them integrate successfully into Italian society but keep their connections with Russia. Irina told me that when she founded the Association “Russky Klub,” she also opened a restaurant with the same name near one of the most prestigious streets in Rome, Via Veneto. Aside from being a very successful restaurant for several years, “Russky Klub” was also a center of communication for Russian compatriots and Italians interested in the culture of the former Soviet Union. Every day you could get acquainted with the national cuisine of the former USSR republics, their folk dances, music and applied arts.

Irina, has always been interested in the rich culinary history of Italy. She is personally acquainted with many famous chefs, restaurateurs, vintners and food producers. After the “Russky Klub” restaurant had closed she decided to use the knowledge and experience acquired in the hospitality business and chose enogastronomy as one of her main interests and activities. After completing a sommelier course in Italy, she has been constantly enlarging her knowledge, regularly participating in almost all related events. She is always aware of the development trends of Italian enogastronomy. One of the directions of her journalistic activity is popularization of the food culture and culinary traditions of Italy, the Mediterranean diet, Italian products and wines made for domestic and foreign markets.

Irina successfully applies her journalistic skills and regularly covers for mass media events in Italy such as festivals, forums, presentations, historical balls, art exhibitions, fairs, food- and wine-tastings, poetry evenings etc. She travels a lot around Italy and other countries, participates in various events then makes photo-reports and writes articles for the press and online publications. She closely cooperates with Russian-language publications in the EU and Russian media representatives in Italy, as well as the Italian media, highlighting events bilingually in the cultural life of Italy, trends in fashion, enogastronomy and art.

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