As you begin to cast around for something to do over the weekend in Moscow, don't forget the Italia Fest at the Hermitage Garden. The entire park will be taken up by all things Italian, including an exhibit of photographs from all over Italy, an art show, Formula One race track, and even a beach — although the organizers are apparently not importing Italian sunshine. But you’ll be able to take a trip to the Italian Alps and ski (somehow), or travel to the south to try pigeage — also known as grape stomping (wear shorts). Stomping will commence at 1, 3, 5, and 7 p.m.
There will be Italian books and Italian lessons; Italian restaurants and Italian cooking lessons; concerts of Italian music - from pop to opera - and Italian karaoke; loads of markets selling everything from food and fashion to Murano glass; and ever-changing street theater.
Kids with have plenty to do: quests; master classes in art, mask-making and other traditional crafts; an entertainment area; and a Leonardo Da Vinci platform where budding scientists can examine models imagined by the great inventor. The outdoor cinema will run movies about and from Italy non-stop, with two classic comedies at night. On Saturday night you can see Sydney Sibilia’s comedy Smetto quando voglio (I Can Quit Whenever I Want) and on Sunday, you can end the weekend with a laugh at Ficarra and Picone in Adiamo a qual paese (Let’s Go to the Village). The screenings begin at 9:40 p.m. and charge an admission fee.
The festival, which has been organized with support from the Moscow government and the Italian Embassy in Russia, runs from noon to 9 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free. For more information about the schedule and events in Russian, see italy-fest.ru.