Ruggero Corrias

Sarajevo is a “European Jerusalem”!

His Excellency, Ruggero Corrias, the Ambassador of Italy to BiH, has been living with his family in Sarajevo for more than a year now.


He tells us of how he first heard of our city when he was still in school, when he learned about the Sarajevo Assassination, and then before taking up his post in BiH’s capital city, he tried to become better acquainted with Sarajevo, which he calls a “European Jerusalem”.

Upon arriving he was first struck by the wonderful nature and, on the way from the airport to the center of town, he noticed four distinct architectural styles, which also mark the four historical periods of Sarajevo’s development – modern, socialist, Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman.

What he likes most about Sarajevo is Baščaršija and he reveals that he loves to get lost as he makes his way along its narrow streets. He makes note of how his biggest “Sarajevo discovery” has been Ribica Café, where he and his wife like to drop by after dinner.

He has made many friends here in Sarajevo and he finds the kindness and warmth of the people charming. He says that Sarajevans are nice people who, although surrounded by mountains, have managed to keep an open mind. He considers their only shortcoming the tendency to lose too much time socializing over coffee. With a smile he adds that this was hard for him to get used to since, as an Italian, he is accustomed to drinking fast – espresso – coffee!

His Excellency points out that Sarajevo has many advantages, including rich history and culture, as well as the feeling of being in a city that cherishes a cosmopolitan spirit. He says that the only flaw Sarajevo might have, if it can be called a flaw, is that sometimes the pace of life in the city on the Miljacka goes too slowly.

During his stay here Mr. Corrias has developed his own Sarajevo ritual – he enjoys taking morning walks along the streets of Baščaršija on the weekends and having relaxing conversations with the friends and people he meets along the way. Afterward, he goes by scooter with one of his three children up to Bijela Tabija, where they enjoy a view of the city.

He comments on how delighted he is with Bosnian cuisine, which he says reflects an excellent mix of influences from the different cultures that have met here. Veal specialties count among his favorites, which he says are true rarities and of great value, and for dessert he chooses apple pita (pie).

For Mr. Corrias the symbol of Sarajevo is roses, which grow in even the most unexpected places and offer a wonderful contrast to the urban concrete.

As for first-time visitors, Ambassador Corrias recommends that they start the day with a walk and coffee in Baščaršija, and for lunch he suggests pizza at the restaurants Korzo, Terazza or Boccone.

He points out that an afternoon should be spent visiting the Museum of Sarajevo 1878-1918 and Gazi Husrev Bey’s madresa, after which one should make a break in Hotel Europe’s garden café, while enjoying a view of the archaeological site and the sunset.

For dinner he suggests traditional BiH specialties in one of the ćevabdžinicas on Bravadžiluk St. and for an evening out he recommends Monument Jazz Club, where one can hear some top jazz over excellent quince brandy.

For those who will be in Sarajevo on November 10, he highly recommends that they attend the concert by the Teatro Lirico Giuseppe Verdi from Trieste, which will be performed at the National Theater in Sarajevo.