Friday, 9 September 2016

Nicholas II’s Curiosity Touring through Different Homes (3)

I am intrigued with two castles in Italy, Racconigi and Pollenzo, that I was unaware of until reading Nicholas’ diaries.

On Tuesday, October 6th, 1909 Nicholas II left his family in Livadia in the Crimea for his solo trip to Italy.

After passing Turin on Saturday October 10th, his train arrived at Racconigi at 2:30 PM, where he was met by the King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy. Arriving at the palace, he was greeted by Queen Elena and her ladies on the terrace.

Nicholas then wrote “… Having changed clothes in our magnificent rooms, I went upstairs to our hosts, had tea, looked over their rooms … I remained very pleased with our reception and the family-like way in which I was treated …”

Photos below of Racconigi Castle and Greenhouses

On Sunday October 11th,  Nicholas wrote “... at 9 AM I went off with the King by car to another estate – Pollenzo. We looked over the Gothic style building …”

The engraving below is from a photo of Castello de Pollenzo c1900.

A rare current photo of Pollenzo as it is privately owned.

If anyone has links, it would be fascinating to see archival photos of the Italian Royal Family at Racconigi and Pollenzo.


  1. To be born rich. Everything you could want, is at your command and fingertips.

  2. It is sad. What we think of as a rich and comfortable life, 'they' wished to escape for a more normal life. To read of the children peering out of the Anichkov garden gates looking at passersby or of Queen Victoria's daughters wishing to just be free to go into London, you know the impact of that enclosed life on their future reigns.