Luigi Salvini (1911-1957) was a philologist, specialist in a number of European literatures and languages, translator from over 20 languages (mostly Slovenian, Serbian, Croatian, Ukrainian, Russian, Bulgarian, Czech, Polish, Hungarian, Finnish, Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian and Romanian), and he spoke a dozen more.

Bulgarian language was the first Slavic language he studied, and it attracted him to Slavic Studies. Judging by his academic career, as well as by the number of Bulgarian books in his library (more than 800), it was also his favourite. Barely 16, Salvini took his first trip to Bulgaria, having won it as a prize from a national contest held by the Italian Ministry of Education. At 19 years of age he published his first book of translations from Bulgarian a collection of 33 Bulgarian folklore songs (Canti popolari) The book was dedicated to Olga Miletitch-Balabanova, who assisted Enrico Damiani in teaching Bulgarian language at the University of Rome, and whose student was Salvini.

In 1930 Salvini started to contribute to a large number of journals and in 2 years published nearly 30 reviews and articles on subjects concerning Bulgarian literature and culture. In the early 1930s he visited Bulgaria for the second time and this is when he became acquainted with local writers and linguists. He wrote for Bulgarian periodicals, among which were Listopad and Zlatorog.

In 1933 he graduated with honours in Bulgarian language and literature at the University of Rome. His graduation thesis Bulgarian Literature from the Liberation until World War I (1878-1912) (La letteratura bulgara...) was published in 1936 in by the Institute of East Europe. A collection of Yovkovs short stories Shibil (Scibil) came out the next year. (Before Salvini the only translated short story was Heroic Heads and it was published in Italian language in 1930 in Le Vie dellOriente under the title Teste di eroi). In 1939 came out the next anthology, whose editor was Salvini it included 20 short stories from Bulgarian authors (Narratori bulgari...). The same year the Italian erudite became a correspondent of the Union of Bulgarian Writers.

The almost complete absence of published translated books in the 1940s did not in the least mean that Salvini had withdrawn form translation work. At that time poems by Nikolay Liliev, Peyo Yavorov, Nikola Furnadzhiev, as well as prose by Svetoslav Minkov, Nikola Danchov, Elin Pelin, Ivan Shishmanov and Damyan Kalfov that he had translated were published in different Italian newspapers and journals.

Immediately after his graduation (1933) Salvini went to Finland. He worked as a lecturer in Italian language at the Universities of Helsinki and Turku. In one of his letters to Damiani he confessed that he found painful his alienation from the Slavic world. Right after he returned, he was invited to head the Section of Slavic, Ugrofinnish and Baltic Studies in the Oriental Institute at the University of Naples. In 1941 he became an associate professor in Slavic Studies at the University of Rome. In 1953, after Damianis death, he became a head of the Department of Bulgarian Language and Literature in Rome.

Despite his multiple problems, bad health, bringing up five children and interest in different cultures, Salvini never forgot Bulgaria. His fascination was manifested not only in the creation of multiple essays, forewords and sketches. It becomes apparent from the correspondence in his archive that he had always been considered a friend of Bulgaria, and that very few Bulgarian authors escaped his attention.


. , 1937/9, , 1937/9, . 416-424 ( . . 316-324).

Aleksandăr Hagihristov, La nuora (), intr. e trad. Luigi Salvini, A.I.B., Roma 1957, 87 p.

Antologia della lirica bulgara (vol. primo), trad. Luigi Salvini, A.I.B., Roma 1960, 151 p.

Canti popolari bulgari, trad. Luigi Salvini, intord. Enrico Damiani, (Poesia popolare indoeuropea III), Anonima Romana Editoriale, Roma 1930, 70p.

Canti popolari bulgari, trad. Luigi Salvini, intr. Ivan Petkanov, A.I.B., Roma 1958, 135 p.

Emilijan Stanev, Una tranquilla sera ( ), tred. e cura Luigi Salvini, Universale economica, Milano 1951, 71 p.

Geo Milev, Settembre (), trad. Luigi Salvini, pref. Nikolaj Doncev, ill. Renato Guttuso, A.I.B., Roma 1958, 37 p.

Georgi Karaslavov, La nuora di Jurtalan (), trad. e introd. Luigi Salvini, A.I.B., Roma 1959, 326 p.

Hristo Botev, Brani e liriche, trad. e introd. Luigi Salvini, Note Nikolaj Dončev, A.I.B., Roma 1959, 144 p.

Jordan Jovkov, Scibil. Antologia, trad., introd. e cura Luigi Salvini, RISON, Napoli 1937, 210 p.

La letteratura bulgara dalla Liberazione alla Prima guerra balcanica (1878-1912). Roma, 1936.

La prosa bulgara moderna. In: Narratori bulgari, Roma, 1939.

Narratori bulgari. ( di P.Todorov e altri 19 racconti di autori diversi). A cura di Luigi Salvini, trad. Enrico Damiani, V.Zincone, R.Weiss, E.Lapenna,IRCE, Stelle dellOrsa Scrittori stranieri Roma 1939, XXVI, 294 p.

Nikola Furnadžiev, Nozze. Liriche, trad. Luigi Salvini, Mistrale, Roma 1941.

Profilo di Jovkov In: Jordan Jovkov, Balkan Racconti, cura e trad. Cicita Saccà, pref. Luigi Salvini, disegni originali Zdravka Konstantinova Taceva, A.I.B., Crucci, Roma 1961, 7-16.

Spirito della moderna poesi bulgara In: Antologia della lirica bulgara (vol. secondo), trad. Cicita Saccà, Enrico Damiani, Lavinia Borriero Picchio, pref. Luigi Salvini, A.I.B., Roma 1960, 9-12.

Stefan Kostov, Lonorevole Golemanov (), versione dalloriginale. Libero adattamento e prefazione di Luigi Salvini, ed. Maia, Siena 1957, 106 p.



Di Sora, Daniela. Luigi Salvini bulgarista. In: Luigi Salvini. Studioso ed interprete di literature e culture dEuropa. A cura di G. DellAgata, Pisa 2000, 3541

, . Luigi Salvini La Letteratura bulgara dalla lieraztone prima guerra balcanica. , 1936, . 7, . 927-929.

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Dontchev, Nikolai. Luigi Salvini et la littérature bulgare. Obzor, 1972/1, pp 63-68.

, . . . 1981, . 1, . 63-69.

, . . , 1982, 421-427.

, . . , 1931/ 1, . 59.

Matarazzo, Maria Cristina. Luidgi Salvini Bulgarista, Tesi di laurea discussa nellanno accademico 1990-1991 presso la Università di Pisa (relatore Giuseppe DellAgata).


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