Man on The River

My name is Giacomo De Stefano. I deal with the protection of water, sustainable economies and travelling slow. I try to think and act for better world, good, clean and fair. All our projects are based on the concept of Gift Economy and working with nature and not against it, and for a circular economy.

I have built, with Roland Poltock, a small wooden boat in a model design factory, which is called Lago, I created with the help of Eden Exit, a website and then I started to tell others. Then, I left London, precisely from Henley-on-Thames, and I rowed and sailed for 5401 km across Europe till Istanbul. Using only my arms and the wind.

During the journey I have met thousands of people who I have listened to and interviewed, telling about sustainable economies, and environmental disasters, great work, miracles, intelligent animals and extraordinary beauty along the rivers of this part of the world. Across 13 countries, 6 capitals, 346 locks, 18 suspended aqueducts, eight tunnels and 2000 bridges. With a group of collaborators we made a great work of communication that has led us to an international visibility beyond all expectations. Now we still have to complete some works that are in the pipeline: the book and the documentary. Paul Muran, our director will explain how we are doing and seek help.

Our web site is below is called Man on The River. In the Press Room, you can see some articles and reports on the project now concluded.

These are the teasers of the documentary that Paul Muran, Nicola Pittarello, Anna Sandrini, Josephine Schaumburg are mounting of these two and a half years of travel.

You Tube Channel “Manontheriver” Channel Vimeo “Byfairmeans” Here are some info and links for the Press. Please click on Press Room on the interested article. Click also on Google Man on the River and will appear many more info.

Press release :

For centuries, the rivers were the main means of connection between civilization and water supply for the man: in fact almost all the major cities lie on the banks of a river. Today, most of the inland waterways are left to themself, focusing on other way of transportation polluting and expensive, and even worst, wasting and sewaging into rivers both urban and industrial, which are leading to a slow death of all the river’s life.

With “Man on the River” I tryed to restore the centrality of the rivers which cross Europe: from the Thames, the English Channel, the French channels to Strasbourg, then the Rhine to the Danube from Nuremberg and subsequently, through Vienna, Bratislava and Belgrade until it flows into the Black Sea, and from there to Istanbul for a period of about 6 months at sea, but two and a half years considering stopping accidents and illness that struck me.

In the wake of his boat, which was built on the basis of the gift economy, in a creative happening into the Art Waiting Room of a famous Italian design company, I tried to trace the path to a new world, the road to economic opportunities, a form of more respectful and sustainable tourism, bringing the voice of those who managed to create with little in the circular economy and create value by working with nature and not against it, proving that not only we can travel cheaply and respect nature, but this form of tourism is immensely more rich in emotions and satisfactions. Change is possible. “Man on the River” is a journey through the heart of Europe, on thewet highways which are life, always, a green heart that seeks to replace a black heart and inattentive. Maybe ill. Paolo Muran, our director ,is editing 7 terabytes of shooting. An important task.


Giacomo De Stefano, 47, simple navigator, communicator and filmmaker. After a life devoted to architecture and art has dedicated 10 years to a search for new ways of thought and action to develop sustainable economies and resilient, related to river and sea, lines of communication through travelling slow and clean, mainly sailing and rowing.

Among his projects Sulle Ali del Leone, CantoMediterraneo, Un Altro Po, Man on The River. He lives on the water of Europe. He was recently appointed by the international magazine Classic Boat, between the 6 Persons of the Year.

Giacomo De Stefano
+39 340 356 8561 skype gi.des