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Born in 1860, Vittorio Bottego was an officer in the Sabaudian army and left first for Africa in 1887 as part of a special corps meant to explore some still widely unknown parts of Equatorial Africa. His first feat was going from Massaua to Assab along the coast collecting samples of local flora: a trip he then reported to the Società Geografica, thus gaining general attention and praise. He was back to Africa in 1892 for a new expedition with a company of scientists: the aim was to cross Ethiopia and trace the course of river Omo. But they were caught unawares by the open hostilities between Italy and Ethiopia and Bottego was killed on the battlefield in 1897. With his rich, rotund prose and peculiar style that has won him the attention of the international literary milieu, Gianfranco Calligarich tells the story, hopes, delusions, defeat of a forgotten hero.

Born in Asmara, Eritrea, from a family from Trieste. He grew up in Milan before moving to Rome, where he worked as a journalist and screenplayer. He wrote many successful programmes for RAI and in 1994 was the founder of the Teatro XX Secolo. He was awarded many prizes for his plays. He is author of many novels, among which L’ultima estate in cittàPrincipessa, Posta prioritariaLa malinconia dei CrusichTre uomini in fuga.