Filippo De Filippi

Filippo de Filippi (Turin 6.4.1869 – Settignano, Florence 23.9.1938), son of Joseph and Gabrielle Sella, physician and physiologist, professor of medicine at operational 'University of Bologna, perfected in physiological chemistry in scientific institutes German and English, producing relevant publications, before his interest in the mountains and traveling the indirizzassero totally to the fields of geography and exploration. In 1901 married the English writer Caroline Fitzgerald (daughter of the Rev. William John), untimely death a decade later. He served as a volunteer in the war lieutenant-colonel in the medical Red Cross and then he was sent to London, where from 1917 to the 1919 organized and directed the Italian office of propaganda and information. Other honors awarded by the British government and various national geographical societies, was a member of 'Lincei Academy, dell’Pontifical Academy and other important institutions.

Author of climbing various peaks, of whom testified in the reports published on "Magazine of the Italian Alpine Club"From 1887 on, participated in the expedition of Luigi Amedeo of Savoy, Duca degli Abruzzi, in Alaska in 1897 (Climbing Mount Saint Elias, the 31 July) and wrote the report. He was also the author of the reports of other African expeditions of the same Duca degli Abruzzi (Ruwenzori, 1906, Wabe Shabelle 1928) while not taking part. Important was his participation in the expedition instead of 1909 al Karakorum del Duca degli Abruzzi who faced the K2 and reached the Chogolisa the proportion of 7.500 meters, the maximum attained hitherto, and made important measurements of the glacier Baltoro; the relationship more and De Filippi, enriched by beautiful photographs of Vittorio Saddle, released in 1912 in Italian (Expedition in the Karakorum and Western nell'Imalaia, 1909, Zanichelli, Bologna) and English (Karakorum and Western Himalaya, 1909, Constable, London/E.P. Dutton, New York). This was the premise for a great scientific expedition, directed by De Filippi, that in the period 1913-14 was articulated between Karakorum and Himalayas extending in Chinese Turkestan (current or Sinkiang, with the new transliteration Chinese, Xinjiang), producing a great harvest of results reported in 15 volumes (Zanichelli publisher, Bologna), out between 1925 and the 1934, of Scientific reports of the Italian expedition in the Himalayas De Filippi, Karakorum and Chinese Turkestan (1913-1914), Cases in two series, a co-ordinated by De Filippi, the other by the geologist and geographer Giotto Dainelli (Florence 19.5.1878 - There 17.12.1968).

Took part in the expedition geographers and geologists Giotto Dainelli and Olinto Marinelli, astrophysicist George Abetti (professor at the University of Rome and the future director of 'Arcetri Observatory), In the Venturi meteorologists Marquis Ginori and Camillo Alessandri, the first lieutenant Alberto Alessio, Lieutenant of Engineers Caesar Antilles (to which we owe the wonderful photographs), l'ingegnere John Alfred Spranger (collaborator Alessio and Abetti work in geodetic and topographic) and mountain guide of Courmayeur, Joseph Petigax (already accompanist Duca degli Abruzzi in various expeditions, including that of 1909 al Karakorum). Were also aggregated to the Italian group three surveyors of Service trigonometric Indian: the English major Henry Wood (author of a specific publication of the expedition) and two Indian employees (Jamna Pranad e Shib Lal) On that expedition and in particular on the participants see Nicola Vacchelli, First publications of the Italian Shipping De Filippi Himalayas, Karakorum and Chinese Turkestan (1913-1914), “The Universe” a. In, n. 11, November 1924, pp. 777-788. See also the first reports published in two installments in 1914 (Asian expedition of Dr.. Filippo De Filippi, Italian Society for the Advancement of Science: First reports; Fourth Report). The same relationship, or any news on developments in the research of the expedition were published in magazines geographical.

On "Bulletin of the Italian Geographic Society”: a. XLVIII, flight. LI (Series V, Flight. III), 1914, pp. 84-87, 663-669.

On "Italian Geographic magazine”: a. XX, fasc. II-III, February to March 1913, pp. 199-200; a. XXI, fasc. I-II, January-February 1914, pp. 112-113; a. XXI, fasc. III, March 1914, pp. 262-263; a. XXI, fasc. V-VI, May to June 1914, pp. 395-397; a. XXI, fasc. VIII, October 1914, pp. 541-542; a. XXI, fasc. IX, November 1914, pp. 615-616; a. XXI, fasc. X, December. 1914, pp. 670-671; a. XXII, fasc. I, January 1915, pp. 53-54; a. XXII, fasc. IV, April 1915, pp. 221-223; a. XXII, fasc. V-VI, May to June 1915, pp. 225-254.

Your "The Geographical Journal” (Dr. Of Filippi’s Asiatic Expedition): Flight. XLIII (January to June 1914), pp. 32-34 (n. 1, January 1914), pp. 672-676 (n. 6, June 1914); Flight. XLIV (July to December 1914), pp. 528-534 (n. 6, December 1914), pp. 528-534.

The compilation and publication of the data collected helped, with the participants in the mission, other talented scholars, among which the geographer and ethnographer Renato Biasutti (San Daniele del Friuli, Udine, 22.3.1878 - Florence 3.3.1965). The diary of explorations of the subgroup Dainelli is widely reported in G. Dainelli, Countries and peoples of the Karakorum. Caravan of life in western Tibet, 2 fully., Luigi Pampaloni Publisher, Florence 1924.

A brief presentation of the De Filippi expedition and photographic documentation can be found in the catalogs of two exhibitions held in Siena and Florence in the early 2008:
- Maximum Mazzoni, Stefano Anastasio, When the Himalayas was further of the stars. Images from De Filippi expedition 1913-1914, Academy of Sciences of Siena called de 'Fisiocritici, Siena, 2008, pp. 48 [Catalogue of the exhibition held at the headquarters of, 13 February - 30 June 2008];
- The "Abode of Snow" and the papers found. Filippo De Filippi and Italian scientific expeditions in Central Asia (1909 and 1913-14), Pacini Editore, Pisa, 2008, pp. 96 [Catalogue of the exhibition organized by the Society for Geographical Studies and by Natural History Museum of the University of Florence; Palazzo Ammannati, Florence,14-24 March 2008].

Recognizing the importance of the work that you like, even after the book edited in 1904 by Charles Puini, was ignored, underestimated and even vilified and still always shown with large errors (commendable and notable exception to Sven Hedin), devoted himself with loving care to arrange for an English-language edition, very valuable for the time. De Filippi was aware of the fact that the epic journey, the historical and eyewitness to the events capital, the report of the mission - as he wrote in his preface - contained "the most accurate description of Tibet, in all details […], with which none of his later works could be compared for completeness, precision, certainty of judgment and serene objectivity " [An Account of Tibet. The Travels of Ippolito Desideri of Pistoia, S.J., 1712-1727. Edited by Filippo De Filippi. With an Introduction by C. Wessels, S.J., Routledge (Broadway Travellers) , London, 1932]. Please also read on this site, the presentation of the work, by the same author, Article The «Ragguaglio» and «Memories of’ travel and mission in Tibet"Father Ippolito Desideri of Pistoia, Bulletin of the R. Italian Geographic Society"Series VI, flight. WE, n. 5, May 1929-VII, pp. 295-301.

Giorgio Abetti (Padua 5.10.1882 - Florence 23.8.1982) De Filippi stressed the "personality frank and loyal, and his word brilliant and intelligent ", remembering that he had "considerable and well-deserved awards; […] fu nominato dal Re d’Inghilterra Knight Commander of the Indian Empire. However, these do not keep him from his private life and quiet scholar, or its "Capponcina" [Villa di Settignano, Florentine hills, already the Capponi family and then Gabriel D'Annunzio], where he received with elegant hospitality closest friends who came to visit him even from distant parts of the world " [obituary of "The Universe” a. XIX, n. 12, December 1938, pp. 1036-1038: 1038].

Aurel Stein, Italian explorer who was bound by a deep friendship (crossed on the same routes exploratory), wrote a beautiful memory of De Filippi "The Alpine Journal” (flight. LI, n. 259, November 1939, pp. 296-303), tracing the path of his life until "steered his keen sense of history to the critical study of the first comprehensive and in many respects remarkably accurate description of Tibet, contained in the manuscript left by the Jesuit Father Ippolito Desideri of Pistoia on his missionary journey to Tibet (1912-1923), […] strangely forgotten […] and imperfectly studied since its discovery ' (p. 302). Stein concludes his memory by saying that the work of De Filippi and his achievements last long, "As long as men are to study the problems of our country and will be drawn from the heights of the mountains" (p. 303).

Tom George Longstaff (1875-1964), famous mountaineer and explorer (won the first 'seven thousand' Himalayan - the Trisul - With brothers Alessio and Enrico Brocherel) De Filippi remembered as "a good Italian, but cosmopolitan in the best sense of the word […]. He was a man of wide vision and great tolerance. Formally refused to join the Fascist Party, because he had strong personal opinions […], England did not have a true friend to him " [obituary of "The Geographical Journal”, flight. XCII, n, 6, December 1938, pp. 566-567].

For more complete information on De Filippi see:

- Laura Cassi (by), The “Abode of Snow” and papers found. De Filippi Filippi and Italian scientific expeditions in Central Asia (1909 and 1913-14). Proceedings of the Conference – Florence 13-14 March 2008, Society for Geographical Studies (“Geographical Memoirs” – Published as a supplement to “Italian Geographic magazine” – New set # 8, year 2009), Florence, 2009, pp. 420 [contains Leonardo Rombai, Enzo Gualtiero Bargiacchi, Filippo De Filippi, pp. 235-252].

See also:

- Francis Surdich, voice of De Filippi Biographical Dictionary of Italians (flight. XXIII, Rome 1987, pp. 750-753);

- Nico Mastropietro, Presentation Filippo De Filippi;

- Stefano Anastasio, Monuments on the Silk Road: the shipment of the De Filippi 1913-1914, “Annals of the Faculty of Arts, University of Siena”, a. XXIX, 2008, pp. 57-76;

- E.g. Bargiacchi, The 'Report of Ippolito Desideri between local history and international affairs, "Local History" , n. 2, 2003, pp. 3-103: 61-71.

[ Schedule established in 2008 (updated in June 2009) The E.G. Bargiacchi ]

Download as PDF