The town of Bolscevigo is well-known for its marked left-wing political stance, which didn't change over the years, in spite of the international events, and which advises not to mention to the town dwellers the fall of the Berlin wall and the possibility that the Soviet Union doesn't exist anymore, because these subjects could trigger reactions of raging refusal or depression. In any case, in the presence of the town inhabitants, it's advisable to resolutely deny to be a Kulak, whatever it means.
What to see
The main square of Bolscevigo is named after Lenin, and there stands a huge mausoleum that, according to the residents, contains Vladimir Ilic Ulianov's mortal remains: to those who object that they would actually rest in Moscow, on the Red Square, the dwellers retort: "that one is Lenin's mausoleum, not Vladimir Ilic Ulianov's". Moreover, seemingly contradicting the mausoleum, at a short distance from the square, on the main street of the town, named Nevsky Avenue, lies the residence of Lenin, who every morning goes out in order to reach the newsagent's and buy the Pravda and a local classified ads newspaper. On the contiguous Stalingrad square a monument stands, represents battleship Potëmkin's bow, cruiser Aurora's stern and Yurij Gagarin's spacecraft Vostok.
A further noteworthy monument is
that of Lenin disguised as Captain
Birdseye, erected on the occasion of the Socialist Fish Finger
Festival, a traditional Bolscevigo event.
Since several decades not even a church can be found in the town, for the lack of faithfuls, and the old parish church of Saint Biancofiore has been for a long time turned into a municipal storehouse. Even the ancient sanctuary of Saint Devoto, on the outskirts of the town, isn't a place of worship anymore and currently contains a Palmiro Togliatti portrait periodically weeping blood tears.
In Bolscevigo the religious feasts are not really taken into consideration, while the public holidays are strongly felt about, like the Liberation day on April 25th, the Labour Day on May 1st, with the march-past of the entire fleet of tractors and forklift trucks of the town, passed in review by the councillor in charge of agriculture, and the Soviet revolution anniversary, on November 7th, with a memorial ceremony at the local ice rink named "Winter Palace".
The typical Bolscevigo handicraft consists in several gadgets like Red Army uniforms, Soviet badges and matryoshka dolls. However even more elaborate and cumbersome souvenirs are on sale, like T72 Soviet tanks (excellent for the trips to the country) and Mig 29 planes, highly regarded as a decoration for parks and gardens. The preferential scene for shopping in Bolscevigo is the broad GUM department store (Great and Useful Merchandise).
The typical Bolscevigo cooking specialities are affected by the political stance of the majority of dwellers: you can have a quick meal with the traditional red pizza, or even a conventional meal, preceded by a Molotov cocktail or by a "Bloody Mary" and by hors d'oeuvres like Volga or Emilia-Romagna caviar canapes. Among the first courses we recommend penne all'arrabbiata (angry pasta), comunederli (knödel) soup, togliattelle (noodles) vodka sauce, bukharini (noodles) Amatriciana and strozzapreti (flour dumplings named "priests stranglers") Bakunin; among the main courses we mention pollo alla diavola (chickhen devil stile), Partisans eggplants and, as a dessert. Kremlin Caramel, red fruits salad or Lenin Curd. The wines accompanying the meals are strictly red or deep red, among them the local Lambrusco, which is served in a samovar; the meal can be closed with Russian vodka or Cuban rum.
Among the local restaurants we recommend the "Ham and Sickle", specialized in pork dishes, above all in the days of abstention from meat, the "Guantanamera", with Caribbean specialities, the "Stakanov", open round the clock and the "McDon" a fast-food restaurant specialized in sandwiches filled with Rosa-Luxemburgers (a communist version of hamburgers), the most known of which is the Big-Marx. It's also possible to have meals by the gastronomy marquee of the local "l'Unità festival", open 365 days a year, serving gnocco fritto (fried pie), sausages and pork chops barbecues, erbazzone (greens pie) and Sangiovese and Albana wines.
The most part of the agricultural products of Bolscevigo come from the municipal farm which, from the dialect name of the place in which it lies, is named "Colcòz". On the contrary the sugar cane plantations in the municipal farm "La Zafra" didn't meet with success due to climatic reasons, and they went back to the traditional sugar beet cultivation, which is nevertheless harvested by laborers with machetes and wearing straw hats.
The foreign tourists can make inquiries to the very kind traffic policemen, recognizable by their thick fur Ushankas bearing the red star and the heavy woollen overcoats, worn even in August: they unfailingly give a clenched fist salute and the persons they're talking are approached as "comrades". The Tourist Information Office lies on the central April 25th square and is run by three municipal employees, Katia, Graziella and Barbara, from which initials the office is usually named "the KGB".
The hotel we recommend is the "Rossija" (four red stars), while the "Lubianka" (three red stars) is less comfortable.
The town football team is the Spartak Bolscevigo C.C.C.P. ("Compagine Calcistica Cooperativa e Popolare" that is "Cooperative and Popular Football Team") wearing vermilion jerseys with scarlet edges; the derby with the neighbouring village team is strongly felt about, the Dinamo Sovverseto C.C.C.P. ("Collettivo Calciatori Coinvolti col Pallone" that is "Collective of Players Committed to Football"), whose jersey is identical to that of Spartak: in order to prevent mix-ups, the visiting team changes its jersey and wears the scarlet one with vermilion edges.
The Spartak Sports Club also includes an ice hockey team, having as a field the already mentioned "Winter Palace", but for decades a fault in the freezing system doesn't allow the formation of ice and as a consequence the matches definitely lose liveliness.
In Bolscevigo every year the "Spartakiad" take place, sports competition named after Spartaco Pugnochiuso, a Bolscevigo bartender who was one of the first sponsor of the event, since he used to present the winners with ice lollies.
In the town the "Red Star" art cinema lies, screening non-stop the works of Sergej Michajlovic Ejzentejn (we bring to your attention the 9 PM every day projection of "The Battleship Potemkin"). Furthermore in the Municipal Theatre "Maksim Gor'kij" it's possible to watch stagings of plays and readings of poems by Vladimir Majakovskij, Sergej Esenin, Pablo Neruda, Dario Fo and a local author, Palmiro Lambruschini, nicknamed "Little Brecht".
The local daily newspaper, the Pravda, sells many copies but, being entirely written in Russian, many people don't understand it. The other newspaper of the town, the "Granma", is more intelligible, being written in Spanish. In the town conferences on October Revolution are frequently organized, whose scientific committee, named "Internal Committe" is more known with the abbreviation "Comintern".
The present mayor is Comunardo Rossi, elected with the Municipal party list "Council of Workmen and Labourer", which gained 98% of ballots, beating his competitor Leon Troschi, which got just 2% of ballots with the party list "Socialism in every country, but especially in this one".
How to get there
The town is reached by the coaches of "Aeroflot" company; moreover on the spot prestigious "Trabant", "Moskvitch" or "Zhigulì" cars can be rented. In some district of the municipal territory the road signs are written in Cyrillic characters, and this can make their reading less easy, or even they signpost distances from places being of scanty immediate practical use, like "Moscow km 2.761" "Leningrad km 2.722" or "Vladivostok km 12.094".