DanieleBonifaziDaniele Bonifazi is 26 years old.  The Italian has been born in Rome. He lives in Sofia since October 2015. Daniele works for The Refugee Project at the Reception centers in Sofia with CVS Bulgaria. His job is to teaches English and he is also  responsible for the “Raising awareness campaign”. His original plan is to stay here just for one year but right now he has already considered that he could actually stay a little bit longer.


- What did you know about Bulgaria before you came here?

- I did have some Bulgarian friends who I’ve met when I was leaving in Belgium and England. To be honest I didn’t know much because my decision to come here was a little bit spontaneous and I took it in a very few days. I knew about that you invented yogurt and the Cyrillic alphabet. I’ve read that the nature will be beautiful and that’s actually true. It’s nice! I knew about the touristic destinations on the Black sea coast. I knew that I will be struggling to learn the language and that’s true as well. (He laughs.)

- Why have you decided to come to live here?

- It was actually because of my job. I was living in Brussels before coming here and I was working in the European Union. I was really touched about what was going on with the migrants, in general on the Balkans. The reason why I’ve decided to come here is because I really wanted to work with the migrants…So I thought that this opportunity to work almost every day in the centers where people stay was great. I got to know about this opportunity through my Association called Service Civil International – it is international organization that gathers together NGOs from 45 nations. I’ve got to know about this job opportunity from the Italian branch about this opportunity to work with the Bulgarian branch...I really wanted to see with my eyes what was going on...I am really happy with my choice.

- You chose “Dom na kinoto” (“Cinema House”) as a spot for this interview. Is it your favorite place in town? Name your other favorite places in Sofia?

- I really like it because with the organization that I work for we organized couple of screenings here. It’s a space where people come and watch movies but it is also a place where you can meet many interesting people…I have a friend of mine from Iraq Freddie who owns Iraqi restaurant “Ashurbanipal” close to the Zhenski bazaar. I always go there like at least once a week to eat – my favorite restaurant in Sofia, for sure. I like in general the district around Zhenski bazaar. It’s very multicultural. Serdica is also very nice. From Serdica to Zhenski bazaar is my favorite part of Sofia because I feel like there are people from many different cultures living there. I love to go there and do shopping. The food is good and extremely cheap. I also like how it looks like. I think it looks a little bit older…I don’t know how Sofia looked like many years ago but I guess it should looked like this more or less.

- How you find Sofia as a city to live in?

- It’s nice. I am used to more like Western styles city so for me also the architecture of the city is really different. But it is interesting because I’ve never lived in a city like that. So it’s interesting for me to know the feeling how it is to live here…For example, Italian cities are structured in a different way: There is always a central square with a post office and a church. Here, I think, it’s more spread out. When I first came I was a little bit confused because I couldn’t understand where was the exact centre of the city now I know it’s Serdica but I was expecting a big square and people who gather there.

- You told me earlier that you knew that you are going to have some difficulties trying to learn Bulgarian. Do you still find it hard to learn?

- I don’t think in general it is a very hard language. It’s not a simple language as it can be English but it’s not impossible to learn it. Just for me it’s been hard for too many reasons. One is that unfortunately for my job I always speak in English so I don’t have many opportunities to practice Bulgarian unless when I go to the supermarket or I take the bus. It’s difficult not because of the alphabet that was very easy to learn. I speak many languages but all of them have something in common with the Latin. In Bulgarian the words just have a very different root. I could not guess them even though I’ve remembered them. I visited 25 hours of private classes in 6 months which were useful. I really hope that now when I have some basis in Bulgarian to start speaking with people. So I am looking for people who want to learn Italian or just to speak with me in Bulgarian because I really need to practice it.

- What is your Bulgarian favorite word?

- I like “prolet” which means “spring”. It shows how in spring like everything comes to live. I’ve just get to know may be like month ago this word.

- What have you discovered as unique feature in Bulgarian character?

- I don’t find that many differences between the Italians and the Bulgarians. We do kind of more or less like the some things: We like just going out together. We really pay attention to food which is something that other countries don’t. I think people are friendly and opened. In Bulgaria the people prefer to stay together more compared to other communities where they would rather be more individualistic.