Valerio Sestini was one of the leading experts in the Himalayas architecture is died on Friday Oct 18


POST N 674


At 78 years old died  on Friday, Oct. 18

Valerio Sestini:

he was one of the leading experts in the Himalayas and Tibet Art  Culture and Architecture.


Ethnoflorence expresses his condolences to the family






*Cchapru Temple Lake Rara*

*Photo Valerio Sestini  around 1974 *


Born in Florence in 1935 , Valerio Sestini was architect and Associate Professor of Architectural Technology at the University of Florence.


Between 1971 and 2002 has made more than twenty missions in Nepal , in the high Himalayan valleys and in the Kathmandu valley , going several times to the border with Tibet , to document the architectural heritage of the region in collaboration with UNESCO , the Ministry of Foreign Affairs , the University of Florence and the Italian Alpine Club.



*Cchapru Temple Lake Rara*

*around 1974*

In 1975 he participated in the mountaineering expedition – the Italian scientific Lhotse . In 1978 he was appointed director and expert for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Twentieth General Conference of UNESCO member countries .

In 1993 he participated in the UNESCO – ICOMOS joint mission to revise the boundaries of the World Heritage Site in Kathmandu valley .


” I conducted my research with the spirit of the nineteenth century a traveler – he said – Today is the fashion to go to Katmandu . Mass tourism brings Himalayas even the most inexperienced , but we must not forget that the mountain requires physical and especially mental preparation . “


His passion for the mountains , lived as a child when he went to walk with his father ( Aldo Sestini , Professor of Geography at the University of Florence) and cultivated over the years climbing with friends CAI : from the Tuscan mountains to the peaks of the Dolomites , then the Mont Blanc , Monte Rosa , Gran Paradiso and other peaks . Adventure, fun, observation.


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 *Cchapru Temple Lake Rara*

*around 1974*

In the seventies it was in the Himalayas with Reinold Messner and Riccardo Cassin . He knew Fosco Maraini and came into contact with the well-known orientalist Joseph Tucci .





The University has partnered with the professors and Losanne Gamberini , both designers Florence train station . Then Somigli with Enzo , who was an architect from Florence, has participated in various missions , and so with the anthropologist Catherine Bonapace (remember the joint work ” Impruneta Bhaktapur and the art of terracotta between East and West ” ) .


IMG_0013 - Copy.jpg


The main objective of the research was sull’Architettura Himalayan -depth knowledge of a constantly changing architectural heritage with a view to his recovery and conservation.



Science missions pushed on the ancient caravan routes of the Himalayas and Sestini documenting everything with his Rolley in the cockpit and especially with the drawings, now kept in the State Archives of Florence.

He has always followed a lot of his students and often led them with him to Katmandu to make the argument .

There are many cases in which the surveys performed on architectures of wood, stone , brick materials , are now the only witness of deeds destroyed.


A free man who has never lost his spirit.

He smiled and said that you have to be on the cutting edge , reacting with a positive attitude even when health is to hinder our way.

 In recent years sorting out the valuable material collected throughout his life , so that the experience would not be lost and continue to transmit knowledge as he had done in many years of teaching .


He said : “I wanted us three lives !

But I consider myself lucky because doing my job first of all I enjoyed it.

I never chased the money and career, I have always tried to do something innovative .  Teaching, research and the profession , are working , but above all passion. need to stay on the field. Carry the theoretical into the practical and vice versa. “


Among the many publications include :

Traditional Materials and Construction Technologies used in the Kathmandu Valley ( in collaboration with Catherine Bonapace , UNESCO, 2003) ,

Himalayas, architecture and environment in the valleys of Nepal  ( Alinea Editrice , Firenze, 2006) ,

Himalayan architecture . Traditional architecture in the Kathmandu valley (in collaboration with Enzo Somigli , Polistampa Edizioni , Florence, 2007) ,

The holy river Bagmati (edited by Catherine Bonapace and Valerio Sestini , Alinea Editrice, 2010).



2 thoughts on “Valerio Sestini was one of the leading experts in the Himalayas architecture is died on Friday Oct 18

  1. Respect et admiration, regret de ne pas l’avoir rencontré, mais une vie si bien remplie. Si les hommes gardent la mémoire des lieux, peut être que les lieux gardent aussi la mémoire des hommes et que le Lac Rara reflète encore son image ! Hommage lui soit rendu !


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