It could not have occurred under better auspices: the overseas tour of the event “Tribute to Lucio Dalla”, organized in Sofia by the Italian Institute of Culture, under the patronage of the President of the Republic, Sergio Mattarella, and under the patronage of the Italian Embassy in Bulgaria and the Sofia Municipality, as part of the Week of Italian Culture in the World. In the splendid Hall of the General Staff of the Military Circle, a crowd of personalities from the Bulgarian political, diplomatic, academic and economic scene, as well as Bulgarian students of the Italian language and Italian entrepreneurs operating in Bulgaria, applauded with moments of intense emotion the piano concert of Maestro Stefan Vraschev, who performed the most beautiful compositions of Dalla, and concluded with the masterful interpretation of “Caruso” by Bulgarian tenor, Feodor Katrasnov. The exciting evening hosted with captivating fluency by Silvana Abagnale, under the direction of the head of the IIC, Luigina Peddi, got under way with a brilliant speech on the artistic figure of the great singer from Bologna, given by the ambassador of Italy in Bulgaria, Marco Conticelli. Moreover, the ambassador illustrated the historical bond of friendship and the intense commercial exchange between Italy and Bulgaria. The Bulgarian art critic, Bogdan Patashev, First Counselor of the Embassy of the Sovereign Order of Malta in Bulgaria, analysed the narrative quality and the cultural depth of the biographical novel by Raffaele Lauro, “Caruso The Song - Lucio Dalla and Sorrento”, and defined the work of the Sorrentine writer as “a rare example of poetry about poetry” and as the most documented definition of the poetic of Dalla and his sources of inspiration, with Sorrento, the true corner of his soul. In musical terms, a sophisticated and extremely applauded contribution of Vincenzo Scotti, President of the Link Campus University in Rome, who starting from Mozart and Italian opera exalted the classical aspect of Dallian music. Scotti also confessed that after reading the novel of Lauro, he listened to the songs of Dalla with a new sensitivity, managing to detect traces of any Dallian fusions with ancient Neapolitan melody. The striking and powerful images of Sorrento, from Piazza Tasso to Marina Piccola, Marina Grande, Grand Hôtel Excelsior Vittoria, Hilton Sorrento Palace, Bellevue Syrene, the islands of Li Galli and Positano, in the documentary film “Lucio Dalla and Sorrento - The Places of the Soul”, screened at the end of the evening, charmed and sent the Italian-Bulgarian audience into raptures emphasized with a thunderous applause. In the acknowledgements to diplomats, organizers and Bulgarian friends, Lauro stressed the validity of this initiative welcomed everywhere with enthusiasm, and how Italian culture, more appreciated abroad than at home (“There is a craving in the world for Italian culture!”), remains the most effective mean to consolidate the presence of our country abroad, and to illustrate the landscape and cultural assets of Italy, starting from the Amalfi-Sorrento Coast. The two-day Italian delegation in Bulgaria included also a joint conference of Vincenzo Scotti and Raffaele Lauro on European intercultural cooperation for the teachers and the students of the Secondary School of Italian Language and Culture of Gorna Banja, and a lucid lecture performed by Vincenzo Scotti in English on the topic of “Immigration and the European Union” for the students of the Faculty of History at Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”, coordinated by Bulgarian historian, Rumyana Marinova-Christidi.

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