(AGI) - Moscow, Oct. 2 - Before the end of December Italy willopen two new visa offices in Russia, in Murmansk and inArchangelsk, in order to comply with the growing demand forvisas for our country. This was announced during a pressconference by the Consul General in St. Petersburg, LeonardoBencini, who also presented the "PPI 3 Goda" project. "Thereare 22 visa centres in Russia, but growing demand has raisedthe problem of increasing the number of offices we have," saidthe diplomat. Between 2009 and 2013, the number of Russiantourists visiting Italy has almost tripled, increasing from461,000 to 1.2 million. In spite of tension between Russiaand Europe over the Ukrainian crisis, numbers did not fallduring the first half of 2014 and requests for visas for Italyincreased with 600,000 visas issued in the first six months ofthe year, up 135 percent at the Consulate in St. Petersburg. Itis from that city that new ideas have come for increasingtourism to Italy. After opening a Facebook page for theconsulate, Bencini recently presented a programme for thosetravelling often to Italy, envisaging three-year multi-entrancevisas for tourists. (AGI). .