Filippo De Filippi (explorer)

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Filippo De Filippi
Filippo De Filippi 1900.jpg
De Filippi in 1900
Born(1869-04-06)6 April 1869
Turin, Italy
Died23 September 1938(1938-09-23) (aged 69)
Florence, Italy
OccupationPhysician, explorer, scientist
Spouse(s) Caroline Fitzgerald (married 1901 – about 1911, her death)

Filippo De Filippi (1869–1938) was an Italian medical doctor, scientist, mountaineer and explorer. De Filippo was born in Turin on 6 April 1869 to Giuseppe De Filippi, a lawyer, and Olimpia Sella. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]


Personal and professional life

As a doctor he specialised in physiological chemistry and in experimental aspects of surgery, lecturing at Bologna and Genoa universities. [6]

He married Caroline Fitzgerald in 1901, a poet, daughter of William John Fitzgerald. In World War I he volunteered as a lieutenant colonel in the Red Cross and was posted to London from 1917 to 1919 where he ran the Italian office of propaganda and information. He was awarded the honorary knighthood of KCIE in 1916. [2] [7]

He was the editor of the travel and exploration section of the Enciclopedia italiana . [3] He died at Settignano near Florence on 23 September 1938. [8]


Well known as an Alpine mountaineer, in 1897 he joined the Duke of the Abruzzi in an expedition to Alaska where they were the first people to climb Mount Saint Elias on 31 July. [4] [6] [3] Then, in 1903, he explored Asia, crossing the Caucasus and entering Turkestan. [9] In 1906 he wrote the book about (though did not take part in) Abruzzi's exploration of the Ruwenzori mountains on the UgandaCongo border. [2] In 1909 he again went with the Duke of the Abruzzi, this time in the Karakoram mountains, writing the book describing the expedition. [9]

From 1913 to 1914, De Filippo organised and led a large and highly successful scientific expedition to Central Asia: Baltistan, Ladakh and Xinjiang. Accurate gravity and magnetic measurements were made and wireless signals were used to determine longitude. There were ethnological and anthropological, topographical and geological studies. The exploration determined that the Rimo Glacier formed the watershed of Central Asia. The work was written up in seventeen volumes. [6] [8]


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  1. Pallastrelli, Gottardo (2018). Ritratto di signora in viaggio : un'americana cosmopolita nel mondo di Henry James (eBook) (in Italian). Roma: Donzelli editore. ISBN   978-88-6843-7770.
  2. 1 2 3 "Filippo De Filippi". Ippolito Desideri (1684–1733) Tibet, Buddhism – The Bridge Across Two Cultures. Archived from the original on 5 June 2017. Retrieved 23 February 2019.
  3. 1 2 3 "De Filippi, Filippo". Enciclopedia Treccani (in Italian). Archived from the original on 20 February 2019. Retrieved 19 February 2019.
  4. 1 2 Surdich, Francesco. "De Filippi, Filippo". Treccani: Dizionario Biografico (in Italian). Archived from the original on 20 February 2019. Retrieved 19 February 2019.
  5. "DE FILIPPI, Cav. Filippo". Who's Who 1938 (90 ed.). London: A & C Black. 1938. p. 868.
  6. 1 2 3 "Museo Galileo - Filippo De Filippi". Archived from the original on 13 February 2018. Retrieved 19 February 2019.
  7. Longstaff, Tom (1938). "Obituary: Cavaliere Filippo De Filippi, K.C.I.E.". The Geographical Journal. XCII (6): 566–567. JSTOR   1788166.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  8. 1 2 "Obituary notices: Cavaliere Filippo De Filippi Hon. K.C.I.E.". Nature (3599): 743. 22 October 1938.
  9. 1 2 De Filippi, Filippo; H.R.H. The Duke of the Abruzzi (1912). Karakoram and Western Himalaya, 1909, an account of the expedition of H.R.H. Prince Luigi Amedeo of Savoy, Duke of Abbruzzi;. Translated by De Filippi, Caroline; Porter, H. T. photographs by Vittorio Sella. New York, Dutton. Archived from the original on 24 February 2019. Retrieved 19 February 2019.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

Further reading