They say that it is the most difficult to appreciate the treasures that surrounds us. That is why we challenged six foreigners who live in Bulgaria to give us their views what they found in Bulgaria that truly impressed them.
It is their career that brought them in our country as all six of them are part of the management team of Bulgaria's biggest bank – UniCredit Bulbank, part of UniCredit Group. Belonging to a pan-European group gives people the great opportunity to have professional experience in different countries and to meet various cultures. Although the agendas of all these managers are certainly overbooked with tasks, projects and meetings, following UniCredit principle that keeping work-life balance is of high importance, they have seen and appreciated the uniqueness of Bulgaria. And they were so kind to share with the readers of VAGABOND their impressions on our beautiful country. Do you agree and what would you add to the list of favourite Bulgarian things of the top managers of UniCredit Bulbank?
Horo is an experience like no other in the world
Giacomo Volpi, Head of Retail Banking, Italian
"Horo: the real social dancing event in Bulgaria. You are out in a restaurant or at a party and all of a sudden you see everybody, really everybody, dancing together hand in hand: no doubt that Horo music is being played! It is unbelievable how Bulgarians get involved and are able to dance it and enjoy it. It is an involving experience: it makes you feel you want to try it as well. But you’d better start with simple songs and simple steps, because it can get very very complex and you need a lesson to make it. I have never seen this type of dance and involvement in any other country I have been. It's a very good and well-kept tradition: don't lose it."
Bulgarians should be proud of their warmth and hospitality
Enrico Minniti, General Manager and Deputy Chairman of the Management Board of UniCredit Bulbank, Italian
"I would like to emphasise the warm attitude of Bulgarian people. I come from the South of Italy – people there are recognised for their warmth and hospitality. When I moved to Sofia, I was pleased to perceive some similarities with the people I was meeting. This is extremely important and helpful for a foreigner who lives in a new place and faces new working challenges, because you feel the positive energy that you need to live and work well. I think that Bulgarians should be very proud of this cultural trait."
Happy that destiny brought me here
Antoaneta Curteanu, Head of Corporate, Investment and Private Banking, Romanian
"Bulgaria has been my home for the last 3 years and I am so happy that destiny brought me here. What I really appreciate here is the 'can do' culture. Bulgarians are committed and very diligent when they engage in something. The contact with them is very easy too – being very open minded and friendly, always willing to share and support. My interactions with Bulgarian colleagues, clients and partners convinced me that they are well educated, well informed, curious and hardworking, in a nutshell people who can be trusted. I also admire the quality of food here – there are no tomatoes like the Bulgarian 'pink' tomatoes or better cherries than the delicious Kyustendil cherries and those great goods should be preserved and promoted."
Bulgaria is a place where you never feel alone
Federico Bedini, Head of Human Resources Department, Italian
"When you asked me to think about the first feeling, thought or emotion I have for Sofia and Bulgaria, the first two words that came to my mind are authenticity and beautiful parks, which somehow in my mind are connected. What impressed me immediately when I arrived here with my 4 months old baby was the number and beauty of the parks in Sofia, places where you can meet people, have fun with your kids, being surrounded by the great Bulgarians people, with their wonderful, kind, genuine, welcoming and full of life attitude. The parks are usually places where you never feel alone. Bulgaria is a place where you never feel alone."
Country that deserves to be discovered
Roberto Furesi, Head of Bank Security Department, Italian
"I was amazed by the warm welcoming of the people, and by a so rich culture of traditions, history, beautiful places to be visited, in a country that deserves to be discovered and to be put in the major touristic routes. This warm welcoming is unique and helped myself to feel immediately integrated in the country. The spirit of this land is so motivating, and for me, as I love photography, the beautiful landscapes are really perfect. I found many links with my Sardinian tradition, especially on rituals, masks, dances and music, so deep links that immediately I felt home."
Roberto Furesi (left) at Rila Monastery
High treasures of Bulgaria stand out
Jasna Mandac, Chief Financial Officer, Croatian
"My hobby and passion is climbing mountains which helped me learn a lot about myself. So I am really happy being in Bulgaria and having the opportunity to climb the Rila, the Pirin and the Vitosha mountain, which is a city mountain. Apart from this, I’ve been to the Stara Planina, the Belasitsa and the Rhodope mountains. I like Vihren Peak and Koncheto Saddle, because when seen from below they look impressive and stand out among others. The scenery you see while climbing is very beautiful and there are some more challenging routes in the region."