The ambassador to Bulgaria of the Sovereign Order of Malta, Camillo Zuccoli, has died suddenly at the age of 61, the Order said in a Facebook post.
Zuccoli became the Order’s ambassador to Bulgaria in April 2007, the second person to hold the post after the opening of the embassy in 2005.
“Thanks to his tireless activity and his enormous love for Bulgaria, 460 humanitarian, hospital, social and educational initiatives were implemented in 177 different locations in Bulgaria,” the Order said.
Born in Iseo in the province of Brescia in Italy on July 16 1957, Zuccoli had a very rich public life, that showed his high morality and his immutable loyalty to the noble ideals that he never betrayed, the Order said.
In 1979, he was among the founders of the Italian committee in support of the election of Ronald Reagan as US President. In 1986, he was elected deputy secretary-general of the European People’s Party, at the time that Jacques Santer was secretary-general.
Zuccoli held a number of important posts in Italian politics, and was the recipient of numerous honours, including – in 2017 – Bulgaria’s highest state honour, the Stara Planina first class. Two years earlier he had been conferred a significant Papal distinction, being named a Commander of the Order of St Gregory the Great.
He is survived by his wife, Ursula Maria Zuccoli Höfter.