Interview: Danilo Musetti, filmmaker & explorer

Foto Danilo 2016 rid

I traveled to Norway recently with Italian videographer/filmmaker and trekking guide Danilo Musetti, a member of renowned Italian photographer Luca Bracali’s film team, and was immediately struck by his artistry and adventurous, yet calm spirit. He was kind enough to agree to an interview and share more about himself and his work. He and his wife also operate a beautiful Tuscan inn (more information below). Thank you, Danilo!

How did you get into videography?

I have been a photographer since 1988. I traveled a lot and worked for many tourism boards taking photographs for travel magazines. When digital photography came into being, I realized commercial photography would become more difficult — it became easy for anyone to get good results and prices dropped, so I decided to go into videography. I worked a lot with a friend (Pierluca Rossi) who produced travel stories for television. I’ve now been involved with video for about 17 years.

You’re going on a trekking expedition soon to Dolpo, Tibet, an area central to Peter Matthiessen’s “The Snow Leopard” correct?

Yes, I leave April 21 and return May 26. I’m going to the Upper Dolpo region (West Nepal) where Peter Matthiessen went to study blue sheep and look for snow leopards.

See Danilo’s incredible film from a previous trip to Dolpo here:

Will you film there also?

Of course I’ll film the story as I’ve done in my 2009 and 2012 expeditions, but this time I’ll be trekking in spring, so the landscapes and the activities of the people will be very different. With this expedition I’ll be able to get an incredible amount of footage of the remote villages and “gompas” (Tibetan Buddhist monasteries) of this incredible region where traditional Tibetan culture is still alive.

What do you love about that place?

Trekking in this region is a deep interior experience, no creature comforts, very high passes to climb, a difficult climate, and many hours of walking. But being there is like returning to an era that seems unchanged from 500 years ago. The Tibetan culture, the traditions and the very hard conditions of survival for the people who live there (very high mortality of children) transform this trip into a lifetime experience.

What’s your next big film project?

I have several projects coming up. For example, next year I want to film the “Great Karakoram Traverse” which will involve five weeks walking across one of the most spectacular mountain and glacier routes and very close to the second highest mountain on earth, K2 in northern Pakistan.

Your Tuscany Inn looks beautiful — is it open for booking year-round? 

Yes, it is. I live in a part of the villa with my wife Monica and our daughter Viola Pilar. Because I’m a guide I organize activities like trekking, canyoning, caving, and mountain biking in the Apuan Alps and Appennino Tosco-Emiliano National Park mountains.

My wife Monica is very good cook and we can also offer guests a taste of traditional cuisine using local and high quality ingredients.

See the Inn’s website here:

Inn Pool

If you could work anywhere in the world for a month, where would you go?

There are many places I like to visit, but because I climbed twice the volcano with a lava lake located in one of the hottest areas on earth ( Erta Ale in Dancalia depression, Ethiopia) I would like to climb the volcano with lava lake located in one of the coldest place on earth: Mt Erebus in Antartica.

Danilo alle Marmitte

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