The Heroine’s Journey of Daniela Donati

What is the best thing that I love about my work as storyteller?

What I like most about my work as a storyteller in advertising is the way I connect with my inner-side letting the words flow freely. But I also like to discover and write about real life stories.

What is my idea of happiness?

My idea of happiness is to feel in the right place at the right time.

In other words, to be in the here and now.

What is my greatest fear?

I have fears of not realizing “the mission” I was born for. I’m firmly convinced that each of us has their own role in this world… I’m always asking myself if I’m in the right direction for this.

What is the trait that I most deplore in myself?

Not trusting into my capabilities to the very end.

Which living persons in my profession do I most admire?

I think that there are different kind of storytellers: from advertising to cinema; from journalism to writing, photography … Everywhere there are good stories to hear, read and feel.

The writer that most inspired me recently with her books is the nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

What is my greatest extravagance?

Probably all of myself in a way. And maybe this is true for each one of us.

On what occasion would I lie?

Even if I think that I could be a good lier when necessary, I always need to say the truth…I don’t know why!

What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work?

Tight deadlines and certain compromises with clients.

When and where was I the happiest, in my work?

I once proposed DDonna, a weekly supplement of Repubblica newspaper, to write an article on Exarcheia, the Athens anarchist’s district. Despite not knowing whether the article was going to be published or not, I flew there with a colleague and a photographer, spending several days interviewing locals, bar patrons, independent publishing house owners. We even got in trouble, and the article was published in the end!

If I could, what would I change about myself?

To be less thoughtful and more visceral.

What is my greatest achievement in work?

I still have to reach it, I think.

Where would I most like to live?

In an ideal place that put together the dynamism of a big metropolis, the oxygen of unspoilt nature and the safe and friendly atmosphere of small places.

What is my most treasured possession?


What is my most marked characteristic?


What is my most inspirational location, in my city?

My most inspiring place in Milan is the Navigli area, where I live. I have in mind the perfect situation: on the way home, lulled by the relaxing rhythm of tram no. 2 when the orange sky of sunset is reflected in the waters of the canals.

What is my favorite place to eat and drink, in my city?

Normally I like to stay in my neighborhood! So on Navigli, for aperitive, Rita or the new Combo hostel. For dinner: Trattoria Da Mauro for an informal Bolognese cuisine.

But I also like, Indian and Asian food in little authentic restaurants in every part of the city.

What books influenced my life and how?

Many books influenced me at different times of my life: Zanna Bianca when I was a child; the Metamorphosis by Kafka to The catcher in the rye by J.D. Salinger or The words to say it by Marie Cardinal in the adolescence; all the womens narrative i.e. Simone de Beauvoir, Doris Lessing, Luce Irigaray…and in the last years The art of joy by Goliarda Sapienza and all the books by Adichie Ngozi Chimamanda including The half of a yellow sun and Americanah.

You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day?

Ain’t got no, I got life by Nina Simone

Who is my hero or heroine in fiction?

Wonder Woman

Who are my heroes and heroines in real life?

I don’t have really heroes or heroines in real life. I have a high esteem of people fighting for the right causes and for their dignity as human beings themselves, of any race, gender or social origin.

Which movie would I recommend to see once in a lifetime?

Impossible for me to select one only. I can only start with some like The 400 Blows by Francois Truffaut; Orange clockwork by Stanley Kubrick; Annie Hall by Woody Allen, Taxi Driver by Martin Scorsese; 2001 Space Odissey by Kubrick; Amici miei by Mario Monicelli…

What role play stories in my life and work?

I see stories everywhere; I create stories in my mind when I see people; when I meet people; when I see objects; when I hear other stories. They are not necessarily creative stories but I always try to find a plot, a link, a connection in what is around me.

What do the words ‘You are the storyteller of your own life’ means to me?

It means that there are still some chapters left to write…

Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime?

My partner, my circle of friends, my family.

Which people or companies would I like to work with in 2021?

The Internazionale magazine, Discovery channel (, BBC, Paramount

Radio Popolare, Toilet paper

Which people in my profession who can make a real difference in my creative career would I love to meet in 2021?

As a storyteller Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

As a photoreporter Letizia Battaglia

As journalist Milena Gabanelli

As a linguist Vera Gheno

In the advertising field, Annamaria Testa and Giuseppe Mazza

What project, in 2021, am I looking forward to work on?

would like to play an active role in the historical period I am living in, telling real stories that can change the way of thinking, being that documentaries, films or podcasts.

I’m also fascinated also by the Radio world.

Where can you see me or my work in 2021?

I will work for VMLY&R Commerce, a new advertising agency. And maybe others…

What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me?

It means to me that curiosity must never stop.

Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story?

The writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie; the copywriter Anna Maria Testa; the socio-linguist Vera Gheno; the journalist Milena Gabanelli.

How can you contact me?


Phone: +39 328 8497164


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