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Innocents in Italy

Mark Twain's first visit to Italy in 1867, before its political unification. Italy had been under foreign domination but following the Napoleonic Wars movements for independence and unification began. The first wave, led by Garibaldi and others created the kingship of Italy in 1861. Venetia was added in in 1866 and Rome in 1870. The Quaker City first made port in Genoa followed by landings in Leghorn and Naples. Twain toured several other cities, mostly by train. These included Milan, Como, Venice, Florence, Pisa and Rome. Twain's adventures in Italy are presented in chapter 17 to 31 of The Innocents Abroad


Arriving in Genoa

In due time the shores of Italy were sighted, and as we stood gazing from the decks, early in the bright summer morning, the stately city of Genoa rose up out of the sea and flung back the sunlight from her hundred palaces.
Here we rest for the present—or rather, here we have been trying to rest, for some little time, but we run about too much to accomplish a great deal in that line.

The Women of Genoa

Enroute: From Genoa to Milan

Well provided with cigars and other necessaries of life, we are now ready to take the cars for Milan.
All day long we sped through a mountainous country whose peaks were bright with sunshine, whose hillsides were dotted with pretty villas sitting in the midst of gardens and shrubbery, and whose deep ravines were cool and shady and looked ever so inviting from where we and the birds were winging our flight through the sultry upper air.

Milan, Italy

16 July, 1867 Twain and 5 companions departed Genoa by train, arriving in Milan that evening.

The capital of Lombardy, Milan united with Italy in 1861. Twain spent two days touring the city. He returned, with his family for a week in September of 1878.
Twain devotes much of chapter 18 of The Innocents Abroad on the Cathedral of Milan. ""Everything about the huge edifice impressed Mark Twain." (Mark Twain A to Z)


Bellagio and Lake Como

The Trip from Milan to Bellagio

Enroute: From Lecco to Venice

From Lecco to Bergamo

Venice, Italy

First Impressions

Enroute: From Venice to Florence

Some of the Quaker City’s passengers had arrived in Venice from Switzerland and other lands before we left there, and others were expected every day. We heard of no casualties among them, and no sickness.
We were a little fatigued with sight seeing, and so we rattled through a good deal of country by rail without caring to stop. I took few notes. I find no mention of Bologna in my memorandum book, except that we arrived there in good season, but saw none of the sausages for which the place is so justly celebrated.
Pistoia awoke but a passing interest.

Florence, Italy

First Impressions

Pisa and Leghorn, Italy

Enroute to Leghorn, Twain spent several hours in Pisa, visiting the Leaning Tower and the Duomo and Baptistery. He revisited Pisa in 1892 with his family.

Leghorn (Livorno), a port o'call for the Quaker City, where Twain rejoined the ship. He missed an opportunity to visit Giuseppe Garibaldi, who was on a nearby island.

Civita Vechia

Leghorn to Civita Vecchia

Rome, Italy

First Impressions

What is there in Rome for me to see that others have not seen before me? What is there for me to touch that others have not touched? What is there for me to feel, to learn, to hear, to know, that shall thrill me before it pass to others? What can I discover?--Nothing. Nothing whatsoever. One charm of travel dies here.

Some Cross Cultural Comparisons

Naples, Italy

Quarantined in Naples


Rasmussen, R. Kent - Mark Twain A to Z

Course outline

The Innocents Abroad

  • Innocents Across the Atlantic
  • Innocents in the Azores
  • Innocents in Morocco
  • Innocents in France
  • Innocents in Italy
  • Innocents in Greece
  • Innocents in the Ottoman Empire
  • Innocents in Russia
  • Innocents Journey Through the Holy Land
  • Innocents in Egypt
  • The Innocents Go Home Again

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