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.

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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