Adam Piggott

Gentleman adventurer

The Russians are coming.

Now that the good wife and I are safely away I can reveal that our winter skiing interlude was spent at the lovely Italian resort town of Madonna di Campiglio. With some of the best skiing in Italy, it is located just over the hill from the valley where we used to live. The town is very chic and an evening walk around the center in one’s best clothes is de rigueur for any serious skiing acolyte. Although the snow has been scarce this year, the slopes were excellently groomed, although there was one day where the two of us negotiated just two slopes and then gave it up as being far too icy and terrifying.

I first came to Campiglio almost twenty years ago and nothing has really changed in the town. But this trip was somewhat different as the ski resort has been comprehensively invaded by Eastern Europeans, particularly Russians and Ukrainians. We were last in the area three years ago and at that time there was no sign of the Russian hordes. Now they are everywhere, they are rich, and they have absolutely no idea how to behave. Even if they did have an idea, one gets the impression that they would not care to behave anyway.

We stayed at one of the best hotels in the town which boasts only twenty rooms. The majority of the guests were Russian. The men are uniformly ugly, both in appearance and demeanor. They are also aggressive. I was talking to a waiter at one point and a Russian guest strode up and went to shove me aside as he wished to have the waiter’s attention. He barked something completely unintelligible and then stalked away to his table. The waiter and I looked at each other and then he smiled sadly and shook his head. I commiserated with his plight which he gratefully accepted while admitting that he had no idea what the prick was talking about.

I caught up with an Italian friend who is a ski instructor and we went to a bar for an apres ski drink. At one point we looked around at the multitudes of Russians and my friend shook his head and wondered how it was possible for so many people to be so physically unattractive.

This includes the women. At first glance you form an opinion that they are very beautiful, but a closer inspection and an observation of their behavior reveals a grim hardness that renders any physical attractiveness completely moot. These women are simply awful. I shudder to think of the many men who have ordered themselves Russian brides over the years. Having one of these harridans rock up at your door would be a grim fate indeed for any man so foolish as to think that a successful marriage can be ordered from over the internet.

Mind you, the last time the Russians came into Western Europe en masse they were raping all the women they could find. These days we leave that job up to the Syrians, so I suppose they have improved a fraction over the last seventy odd years. A good indication of how much they will continue to improve is to to observe the behavior of their children. On that note I do not give out much hope. The little bastards at our hotel needed a collective thrashing which would probably not be legal in Saudi Arabia.

I have an image of one particularly spoiled little girl who was at the breakfast buffet table with her Russian nanny while her awful mother paraded around the room in an outfit designed more to slither around a poll that to enjoy breakfast. The girl would point at a piece of cake in a haughty and bored manner and the long suffering nanny would carefully place it on a plate. Then the girl would pout and furiously shake her head whereby the woman would return the piece of cake to the buffet and instead collect another identical piece of cake which was duly placed on the plate. This went on for about ten minutes while the good wife and I watched with horrific fascination. Good luck to the idiot who orders this woman over the internet in twenty years time.

I don’t think Campiglio has been ruined yet but a few more years of this may well render the town unsalvageable. Which would be a great shame as it is a lovely spot to spend a week skiing. Perhaps they could set up a Russian-free zone. Or perhaps Putin will confiscate all of the ill-gotten wealth that allows these imbeciles to strut around in such an awful manner. Or perhaps I’ll just need to learn to cover my eyes and ears and accept the new reality of our glorious betters.


Snow in Venice.


The truth will set the Dutch free.


  1. As somebody who knows Russians extremely well, I can say your description is spot on. But with one, very important caveat that applies to all nationalities: don’t judge the people back home by what you see of their tourists.

    I once went on holiday to Kuta in Bali. Let’s just say I’m glad all the other Australians I met in my life weren’t like the lot I encountered there.

  2. R. Sherman

    It’s the same everywhere in the Alps. My German relatives have been complaining about the Russians for years.

  3. A lot of Russians try to ski at Gulmarg (India) they often end up fighting in the lift queue because they don’t queue they just gather round the race and push and jostle to get in front of those who were there first. Then again I was at Mount Parnassus near Athen once and the same thing went on in the lift queues but I don’t know if they were Greeks or others.

    • Adam

      Thankfully we were there during the quietest week of the season which occurs when the schools restart in January. I would not like to see the results at lift queues in a month’s time.

  4. MarkT

    I just got back to NZ from Europe including a week skiing in Zermatt, Switzerland and noticed exactly the same thing with the Russians (although there seemed more Australians than Russians). One of them (a woman by herself) had the gall to walk right in front of my wife and 2 boys as we were eyeing up a gondola to board, and head for it herself. I lost my rag and called out something along the lines of “what the hell are you doing”, and when I got no response took a few steps toward her, and swung my skis forward such that I knocked her on the bum as she stepped onto the gondola to get her attention. When she turned round to look at me her face was completely blank, not even surprised she’d just been whacked up the bum by a stranger. She never spoke a word, but I could tell by her brazenness and non-reaction to the bum-whacking that she was Russian.

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