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Diplomatic relations between Italy and Bulgaria go as far back as the period before the Independence of Bulgaria from the Turk domination, and were active in the main cities of the Country – Plovdiv, Russe and Sofia of Italian Consulate. After the end of the Russian-Turk war on 1877-1878, Italy maintained its own Consulates in the first two cities previously mentioned and opened brand new consular offices, respectively in Lom (1881), Varna (1889) and Burgas (1903).  

With a letter dated July 25th 1879, the Italian Ambassador in Saint Petersburg announced to the Russian emissary in Sofia, Mr Dondukov-Korsakov, he had informed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs about the nominee of Mr Domenico Brunenghi as Italian General Consol in Sofia.

At the same time, it was also established that the existing Consulate in Sofia, under the direction of the vice Consol Mr Vittorio Positano, would have been moved to Russe.

The contribute of Mr Positano in the final stage of the Russian-Turk war - when he grouped a group of Bulgarian volunteers and saved the city from the fire caused by Nuri Pascià – is worth being mentioned. After this heroic act, Mr Vittorio Positano, was given the title of honorary citizen of the new capital.

On December 25th 1879 in the Royal Palace of Sofia, Mr Domenico Brunenghi was celebrated in a solemn ceremony in front of Prince Aleksander Battenberg. His successors were Mr Renato di Martino, Mr Carlo Alberto Gerbaix de Sonnax, head of the Consulate until 1893. Then Mr Alessandro Riva, Mr Giulio Silvestri and Mr Giorgio Polacco.

On 1903 the marchese Imperiali di Francavilla was invited in Sofia, to attend the ceremony for the liberation of the Reign of Bulgaria by Prince Ferdinando on October 5th in Tirnovo. During the same year, the Reign of Bulgaria opened its own diplomatic representation in Italy.

On 1909 the Bulgarian diplomatic agency in Rome and the Italian one in Bulgaria, along with the relative General Consulate, are renamed “Legazioni”, whilst the relative representatives – Dimitar Rizov and Fausto Cucchi Boasso – become “Inviati speciali” and “Ministri pluripotenziali”. The first one presents his credentials on June 18th 1910, the second on June 23rd 1910.

On 1919 Ferdinando abdicates in favour of his son Boris III, to whom the new Italian representative, Mr Luigi Aldovarandi Marescotti, presents his credentials on September 14th 1920. At the beginning of the Second World War, the marchese Giuseppe Talamo Atenolfi is at the head of the Italian “Legazione”. His successor is the count Massimo Magistrati, on January 29th 1940.

On March 1st 1941, the Bulgarian Government decided to adhere to the Triple Pact, allowing German troops to enter Bulgaria, which on November 1941 declared war to the United Kingdom and few months later to the U.S.A. On June 1943 Francesco Giorgio Mameli was sent to Sofia. On August 1943 king Boris III dies and in the Country is established a Consiglio di Reggenza. Although the dramatic conditions of the Country, the Italian mission decides to stay. After two months facing the menaces and violence from the neo-fascists and the Germans, on November the delegation leaves Sofia, destroying all the archives, remaining in Sofia even during the bombings. On January 10th 2004, the personnel of the mission is sent out of Sofia, to come back after the golpe on September 9th 1944. After coming back to Sofia, the minister Mameli, without any official recognition, obtained the right to protect Italian interests and saved his own compatriots and the Italian properties in danger because of the agreement on armistice, seizure of the properties.  

Ordinary relationships between Italy and Bulgaria were re-established on January 1st 1945. Mameli was confirmed Minister of Italy in the Country in which he was exiled. During the same year, thousands of ex-prisoners from the war flew into the Country, from everywhere in the Balkans and the Soviet Union, and from Sofia were sent back to Italy. On 1946 Mr Giovanni Battista Guarnaschelli was appointed as “Extraordinary Envoy” e Plenipotentiary Minister; following the Ministers Gastone Rossi Longhi, Filippo Muzi Falconi and Roberto Gaja. On 1964, the Legation was ranged as an Embassy and the head of the mission, H.E.  Orazio Antinori di Castel San Pietro, assumed the name of Ambassador of Italy. From 1968 the Ambassador was H.E. Giuseppe Puri Purini, whose successor was H.E.  Franz Cancellarlo d’Arena  on January 1972.

From June 9th 1980 the Ambassador of Italy in Sofia was H.E. Carlo Maria Rossi Arnaud, succeeded by H.E. Giovanni Battistini (from April 9th 1984), H.E. Paolo Taroni (from November 21th 1987), H.E. Agostino Mathis (from February 12th 1990), H.E. Stefano Rastrelli (from June 21st 1994), H.E. Tomaso Troise (from October 1996) and H.E. Alessandro Grafini (from April 28th 1999). From May 20th 2003, the Italian Ambassador in Sofia is H.E. Gian B. Campagnola.