Moak coffee travelling towards the South Pole with Pietruccio Montalbetti

Founder and leader of the historical Italian rock band Dik Dik, he did not only reach the highest level of success in life, but also the peak of Aconcagua, the highest mountain in the Andes, after reaching the mountaintop of Kilimanjaro a year before. Pietruccio Montalbetti has always had passion for travelling and nature, and while he used to travel the world in company and for working reasons at the time of Dik Dik, the wandering musician today likes to travel alone, steeping into nature and culture of local people and living in close contact with primitive tribes that never met our culture. Pietruccio is a man with lot to tell, both as musician and traveller, and he did it indeed with his books “Io e Lucio Battisti” (Lucio Battisti and I) and “Sognando la California, scalando il Kilimangiaro” (Dreaming California, ascending the Kilimanjaro), where he loves to reveal the real soul of people and places. He came back from Patagonia – it has to be said – the end of the earth few weeks ago. A long and exciting trip from the Andes to the Land of Fire with the biggest glaciers of the world. What kept him awake during the trip was indeed our coffee, in order to avoid letting his eyes and memory escape the beauty of nature.

You just came back from Patagonia. Why this destination and what did you bring with your from this trip?

When I reached the Aconcagua peak last year, my breath was suspended in front of the majestic beauty of nature at a height of 7000 metres. My guide, a Chilean, said to me at that moment “If you only knew how beautiful Patagonia and the Land of Fire is”. So, in January I decided that I had to see it. The Chilean wasn’t wrong: it is one of the most fascinating places I have ever seen, where nature with its glaciers is only inhabited by penguins and whales.

Where does your passion for travelling come from and what drives you to tour the world alone?

It is an innate passion. I dreamt of becoming an explorer as a child. Thanks to music, I rediscovered my desire for travelling, but in a different way. I felt the strong need to isolate myself, to find myself and understand where my atheism comes from. Travelling means being more respectful towards the world and people. I like getting around with means of transportation local people use, eat and sleep as they do, immersing myself completely in that reality.

You trips are real expeditions, rather than journeys; arduous challenges in unexplored places, where you also need a good dose of courage?

You have to have respect for your own body and spirit, rather than courage. I have always lead a rather healthy life, maintaining a certain rigour as for food, avoiding to take alcohol and drugs. I do daily exercise and this allows me to keep good resistance and physical strength even at the age of seventy.

Pietruccio Montalbetti not only musician and traveller, but also author of books, where you love to tell about the real soul of people and places you got to know.

I wrote three books: the first one, “I ragazzi della via Stendhal” (The kids of via Stendhal) tells about the Sixties generation. Few years after “Sognando la California. Scalando il Kilimangiaro” was published; it isn’t a story about a journey, but how this trip helps to better understand yourself, above all if you are on your own in a tent with 25 degrees below zero and you cannot but reflect and think. Instead, in my last book “Io e Lucio Battisti”, I wanted to do justice to the person Lucio Battisti and his world of emotions and shyness, away from spotlights, and not to the artist.

What will be your next destination?

I haven’t decided yet, but I would like to go to Costa Rica and Tasmania.

What kept you awake in Patagonia was also coffee. Will it be your travel companion in your next venture?

Absolutely yes. The Moak one, and rigorously unsweetened.

Recommended song for the reading of the present articleL’isola di Wight – Dik Dik