On the northeast of the world
The alarm clock rings merciless, reminding me how important this new day is, I’d love to trade this surrounding ring tone with a cook-crow … but times have changed, and I can’t!
My thoughts are quickly recomposing and they lead me on an imaginary route through Florence, Bologna, Toulouse, Moscow and Florence again. There’s no time to stop and think about each one of these destinations: I absolutely have to check one last time all the things I’ve prepared again and again for days (as if meanwhile an elf was amusing to confuse them), make sure the passport is on my bag, boarding card, agenda, and what else?
Sure! The iPhone charger! How can I leave without it?
This is another thing I’d love to trade with the cook of above … but exactly as for the alarm clock, I can’t: times are changed!
And then, how to forget Moscow.
Moscow that is there, curled up in its cold cocoon waiting for me, beautiful, mysterious, miserable and sly as Victor Hugo’s Paris, just a little bigger and terribly cold … will my clothes be warm enough?
Anyway, the iPhone charger is in the bag, next to the passport, the agenda and my boarding card … actually I can even face the Cossacks of Austerlitz like Napoleon did!
No, I’m not: really, I don’t feel ready, not even a bit, but I rationally know that I’ve done all necessary to be prepared for this trip, so, as we used to say when playing hide in the childhood, ready or not, here I come!
Just few more minutes to explain my son why I’m not staying, as the White Rabbit of Alice in Wonderland says, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place, and he can lend a hand like everyone in the family (I’m not sure he really understood, or he just wanted to make me feel happy and not guilty), and then off: direction Moscow!
Two of us: my brother Michele and I, while Ornella remains at home to guard the fort waiting for us to come back, like in an old John Wayne’s movie … well maybe he is not the most suitable character talking about Moscow, but never mind!
Michele and Ornella … brother and sister, friends, colleagues. Teammates.
Right, because this is what we are: a team. A winning team, despite everything and despite all; a team that faces the market and the daily changes of times (the alarm clock and the charger remind me that times have changed, but I still believe we do have in-between seasons) with the stubbornness of a dynamic company and the cohesion of a family based on true and healthy values … those mentioned by Dostoevsky (now we are even with the John Wayne quote of above).
Moscow is the most changeling trip; a look on a market that fascinates and frightens us at the same time, but that we want to face with all the enthusiasm we can.
We have been preparing for long time for this step, and now, filling the agonizing airport formalities, we begin to realize that the carousel is really turning.
So we sit on our horses, we embrace the support rods, now called “seat belts”, and we let the cotton candy smell lead us into the heart of old Mother Russia, travelling at a speed only slightly less than the sound’s speed at a high of ten thousand feet.
Craftsmen, traders and small industry towards our own personal Russian Campaign, enjoying the magic of the moment and the immediate empathy that binds us to Francesca and Stefano, travel and adventure companions, representing our timeless Industrious Northeast, we build with them a sort a spontaneous and barriers-free cooperation.
Here we come. The beauty of Moscow hits us with the same violence of a truck driving in the wrong direction, we are astonished in front of thing we already knew from books, like the Red Square, St. Basil and the beautiful Tsarist palaces, that somehow survived the October Revolution, but it is only now, seeing them in person, that we can get the real dimensions and the magnificence that we could so far only imagine. We discover also the underground stations, one more beautiful than the other … roomy, warm, bright, clean.
The heart of the mission is near, the time is short, indeed, it is damn little, as Bogey in Casablanca said … the neutral territory doesn’t hurt anyone, we spent our time visiting shops, shopping malls, luxury shops and lots more… the attention paid to children here is enormous, things are made exactly on their scale to make them usable in safety and effortless. This is something we can’t find in Italy; and not only now because” of the crisis”.
We reach farer places traveling on a battered and rusty bus, but incredibly with free Wi-Fi on board … another thing we have been promised long ago, but to date if you do not have a 3G Smartphone internet is still a dream!
We visit the Crocus Expo, and the tastes of our guest reveals before our eyes, now addicted (if possible) to the wonders of this metropolis bordering East and West.
So: these are the people we are going to study, understand and fascinate; the middle – upper class populating today’s Russia.
Undoubtedly sophisticated people approaching to our European tastes, distancing themselves from the still existing traces of the Romanov Family … more essential lines, more neutral materials, elegance instead of ostentation and research of uniqueness, of exclusive and unrepeatable creations.
I wonder why this reminds me the Faberge’s Eggs, made expressly for the Tsar, one per year … Every year unique, unrepeatable, wonderful.
There is no need to insist: the love for beauty, luxury and for uniqueness is not a recent idea … we just blew away a little dust making gems shine again like in Huysmans story, and we gave them a name and a position, well two actually!
Right because to enter such a market will and competences are not enough: we have to offer something Unique, and we do have it!
We are partners of Unico Ovunque, the structure aimed to promote the Italian Excellence in the world through its Lounge in Florence, located on the patrician floor of Palazzo Levi, in the heart of Piazza della Repubblica, and which now includes the wonderful structure of Solchi; on request and by invitation, our works are admirable in both places.
Because exclusivity is exclusive by definition.
And even if looking at the iPhone charger I see that times have changed, I still believe that there are things in life that time will never change.
Good taste, art, and values … the real ones.
Those that, as you already know, smell good.