Born and raised in Turin, Stefano’s thirst for adventure and excitement began with a love of mountain bikes, and he competed in bike races throughout his childhood. At the age of 11, he visited a climbing wall with his friends and discovered a whole new world of adventures, challenges and opportunities. He soon quit racing and dedicated himself entirely to mastering the art of climbing.
Within the first month of signing up for a climbing course for beginners, he enjoyed a rapid ascent, finishing second in a local competition, despite competing in a pair of regular walking shoes. He soon progressed to the national youth level, competing in the youth climbing European Cup in 2007, winning a bronze medal in the Youth World Championships in 2010, and earning another bronze in 2011.
Stefano began competing in senior competitions in 2009, testing himself in lead, speed and bouldering events before narrowing his focus to lead. In 2016 he finished fourth in the lead World Cup and seventh in the lead discipline at the World Championships. He boasts two World Cup victories in China in 2014 and 2016 when he handled the pressure of being one of the favourites to secure a memorable success.
Stefano embraces two main strands of climbing. He relishes the challenges and rivalries of competition climbing and seeks out the never-ending adventures of outdoor rock climbing where he can test his limits and spend long days wrestling with nature’s toughest obstacles. Although Stefano originally trained indoors, when he ventured onto rock, he completed his first 7A, 7B and 7C in the same day. His finest achievement outdoors was the Lapsus climb of 2015, which he describes as a “magic experience” for making him realise he could push his limits further than he ever thought possible. He repeated another 9B at First Round in Spain in 2017.
Now based in the climbing hub of Arco in Italy, which he calls “a paradise for rock climbers,” the Italian has his eyes firmly set on lighting up the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. He loves the outdoor mountain lifestyle, spending his days climbing in an epic landscape filled with lakes and mountains, taking photographs and riding his bike. He plans to enjoy more adventures around the world in the future, including a climbing expedition to Australia. But he is happy to save his global exploration for after the Olympics. For now, he is focusing on his endless quest for self-improvement.