I’m myself a huge fan of more personal content, which really gives you a chance to get to know the people behind stories they write – like our experiment series, which we update rarely but aptly, I must say. Here, my hat goes off to Catherine’s story on achieving work-life balance and the Anastasias’ 7-days-no-coffee challenge, the reason being that I’m apparently an unbalanced coffee addict (*giggles*) – or, all jokes aside, that they are pure gold in how they depict every fiber of one’s experience whilst being amusing in some moments and inspirational in others. 


When I look back on the wisdom our team has accumulated through the years, it’s hard to pick just one or two favorite stories, so I’ve decided to make a small list:

  • One specific series I go back to is One Perfect Day – your chance to explore the international side of St. Pete and even travel without leaving the city. Recently, I’ve reread the French one, so I can’t stop thinking about having croissants for breakfast to embrace the proverbial joie de vivre!

  • As a wannabe vegan, I return to the vegan’s survival guide on a regular basis for inspiration and practical advice. The whole Vegan in St. Petersburg series is a must for anyone considering going plant-based.

  • Having Mari Kondo-ed my entire wardrobe more than once, I find myself constantly on the lookout for the missing pieces in my day-to-day wear. Luckily, we have an expert on all things fashion on the team! I always learn some new brands or shops to check out from Elizaveta’s stories, such as brands to shop online, upcycling brands, flea markets, and a guide to second-hand shopping.

  • Finally, there’s a gem from the archives that elicits loads of emotions from me on every re-read: Grouchy Introvert’s Valentine's Day Manifesto. Trust me, it’s perfect!

Credit: Nick Night (@nicknight) via Unsplash

Credit: Nick Night (@nicknight) via Unsplash


It’s always exciting how our team complements each other: topics you have zero knowledge of are always carefully covered by your colleagues! 

I enjoy everything about St. Petersburg, so the guides to Kolomna, local historic cemeteries, and eco-paths were great reads that helped me plan my afterwork outings.

When summer suddenly felt like proper summer, collective wisdom on summer drinks saved my day. And it was this article that inspired me to venture out for something other than bumble coffee.

And a special thanks to Catherine, who wrote about where to get the best tote bags in the city. Since I joined the tote bags team years ago, it hasn’t been easy to find an item both durable and fashionable. With this list, the case is finally closed.

Credit: 俊瑋 王 (@wl001002631) on Unsplash

Credit: 俊瑋 王 (@wl001002631) on Unsplash


I like articles that let me learn new things, especially if those are something that I can try and, ideally, introduce into my daily life. Surely, I seldom follow the entirety of advice I get this way, but I often pick a couple of new ideas, some of which do make an impact on my life. For one, I never really repeated the Living Zero Waste for a Week experiment, but it encouraged me to get myself several trusty string bags that now rarely leave my side, as well as to start exploring various recycling options.

A more recent example was the Beginner’s Guide to Meditation: while it didn't get me to start meditating again, it prompted me to revisit the Waking Up app and find some content which I still follow. And now, I'm looking to at least take a glance at what my colleagues mentioned here in this piece – I'm sure I will find something useful there, as well.

Credit: Lora Ohanessian (@loraohanessian) via Unsplash

Credit: Lora Ohanessian (@loraohanessian) via Unsplash


When we first started the English-language office of ITMO.NEWS in 2016, all we knew was that we had a passion for St. Petersburg and Russian culture and we were eager to share it with our readers – future and current ITMO students and staff, universities, tech companies, employers, anyone interested in Russia – around the world. We knew that our powers were authenticity, curiosity, and first-person knowledge. And we went to town. 

Some of our early stories were written by the UK journalist John O’Mahony and are still relevant today – The City of the Stolovaya is one of my personal favorites. In part, it inspired our ongoing series about Do It Like a Russian, where we take turns exploring the idiosyncrasies of Russian life and making sure you know how to swear in Russian and which weird foods to try.

We’ve always tried to lean into our team’s personal interests and passions to bring our readers first-hand accounts they wouldn’t find anywhere else and the result has been diverse, inspiring and insightful stories that hopefully build understanding and spark the need to explore. I regularly turn to our accounts of short trips from St. Petersburg and longer outings to Moscow, Smolensk and other Russian cities when planning family vacations, read up on Russian literature to look smarter, or find hidden gems in the city with Unexplored St. Petersburg

I’m incredibly proud of our team for being relentless explorers, keen observers, and expert translators of the rich tapestry of Russian culture and the way of life. 

ITMO.NEWS editorial team