The Sicilian Adventure

Naples, Messina, Sicily | Old Photos | ZolotarevArchives.com

In the early 1900s, a family from Moscow, Russia, took a trip to the Kingdom of Sicily. Although far away and exotic, the trip was quite comfortable: the family traveled by the world's best-known luxury train company, ICWT, which is featured in Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express and Nabokov's Memoirs.

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Port of Messina, Sicily. Destroyed by earthquake in 1908. [Морозов, Morozov]

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Train ferry carrying a sleeper of the Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits (CIWL) from Calabria, Italy to Messina, Sicily. Before 1908. [Морозов, Morozov]

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Train ferry. Messina, Sicily (?). Before 1908. [Морозов, Morozov]

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Fountain of Paris, Botanical Gardens. Palermo, Sicily. Early 20th c. [Морозов, Morozov, Orto Botanico di Palermo, Fontana di Paride]

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Promenade at the Grand Hotel Villa Igiea. Palermo, Sicily. Before 1908. [Морозов, Morozov]

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The Grand Hotel Villa Igiea. Palermo, Sicily. Before 1908. [Морозов, Morozov]

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Fountain of Heracle Farnese. Palermo, Sicily. Before 1908. [Morozov, Морозов]

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Cathedral of Monreale. Palermo. Sicily. Before 1908. [Морозов, Morozov]

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Chinese Villa. Palermo, Sicily. Before 1908. [Морозов, Morozov]

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Villa Giulia, central park area. Palermo, Sicily. Before 1908. [Morozov, Морозов]

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Piazza Vigliena, Corso Vittorio Emanuele (?), Palermo, Sicily. Before 1908. [Морозов, Morozov, Quattro Canti]

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Temple of Castor and Pollux. Valley of the Temples, Agrigento, Sicily. Before 1908. [Морозов, Morozov]

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Temple of Concord. Valley of the Temples, Agrigento, Sicily. Before 1908. [Морозов, Morozov]

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Temple of Concord, Valley of the Temples. Agrigento, Sicily. Before 1908. [Морозов, Morozov]

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Temple of Juno, Valley of the Temples. Agrigento, Sicily. Before 1908. [Valle dei Templi, Morozov, Морозов]

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Ancient Greek Castello Eurialo. Syracuse, Sicily. Before 1908. [Морозов, Morozov]

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Quarry Latomiedel Paradiso. Syracuse, Sicily. Before 1908. [Морозов, Morozov]

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Villa Politi. Syracuse, Sicily. Before 1908. [Морозов, Morozov]

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Villa Politi. Syracuse, Sicily. Before 1908. [Морозов, Morozov]

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Villa Politi. Syracuse, Sicily. Before 1908. [Морозов, Morozov]

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Villa Politi Hotel. Syracuse, Sicily. Before 1908. [Морозов, Morozov]

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Papyrus along the Anapo River near Syracuse, Sicily. Before 1908. [Морозов, Morozov]

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The Ear of Dionysius. Syracuse, Sicily. Before 1908. [Морозов, Morozov, Orecchio di Dionisio]

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Syracuse Greek theater, Sicily (?). Before 1908. [Morozov, Морозов]

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San Domenico Palace Hotel and former Dominican monastery. Taormina, Sicily. Before 1908. [Морозов, Morozov]

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Palazzo Corvaja. Taormina, Sicily. Before 1908. [Морозов, Morozov]

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San Domenico Palace Hotel. Taormina, Sicily. Before 1908. [Морозов, Morozov]

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Grand Hotel Timeo, Taormina, Sicily. Before 1908. [Морозов, Morozov]

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Street leading to April 9 Square and the clock tower. Taormina, Sicily. Before 1908. [Морозов, Morozov, Piazza 9 Aprile]

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Church of St. Joseph, April 9 Square. Taormina, Sicily. Before 1908. [Морозов, Morozov, Piazza IX Aprile, Corso Umberto]

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Hotel San Dominico and Mount Etna. Taormina, Sicily. Before 1908. [Морозов, Morozov]

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San Domenico. Taormina, Sicily. Before 1908. [Морозов, Morozov]

The travelers visited Messina, the port connecting Italy and Sicily, which only a few years later would be destroyed by an earthquake. They crossed the Strait of Messina—or the strait of Scylla and Charybdis sailed by Odysseus—by a technological wonder of their time, the train ferry. They walked in Pompeii and Agrigento and stayed in monasteries, which nowadays are operating as comfortable hotels. And they took pictures of everywhere they went. We are lucky to witness their trip, the Old World Train, the now destroyed cities and monuments, and the wild papyrus of Syracuse, through the beautiful pictures these travelers left behind.

Photos: Provided by Natalia K. Dubkova.  Vikula Morozov family archive.

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