Russian Czarina in Italian Tuscany


“Our quiet little place is in turmoil,” writes author and journalist Andrey Malgin. “Yesterday, only a kilometre away from where I am staying, Svetlana Medvedeva, wife of Russia’s placeholder president, Dmitry Medvedev, accompanied by 30 bodyguards, arrived at the Grand Hotel & La Pace in Montecatini Terme in Italy’s Tuscany,” Mr Malgin reported. Ms Medvedeva has reserved the entire five-star hotel until 21 March 2012.

Ms Medvedeva arrived at the hotel together with Russia’s Ambassador to Italy, Alexey Meshkov. Prior to her arrival, Mr Meshkov had visited the hotel repeatedly over several days to make sure that all details of Ms Medvedeva’s visit, including the menu at the hotel’s restaurant (also closed to outsiders during her visit), would be as wished by the distinguished guest, Mr Malgin wrote in a note he posted on Facebook.

An article in the local paper ran a headline: “Czarina at the thermal.” Apparently, Ms Medvedeva intends to undergo a cure at the hotel’s thermal spa. Montecatini’s mayor made an attempt to pay a visit to the Czarina, but she refused to see him for now. Rumours said that President Medvedev himself would join his wife at the hotel soon. “It would be interesting to know who is going to pay for the Czarina’s holiday,” Mr Malgin asked.

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