Prince Luigi Amedeo, Duke of the Abruzzi bigraphy, stories - Italian explorer

Prince Luigi Amedeo, Duke of the Abruzzi : biography

29 January 1873 - 18 March 1933

Prince Luigi Amedeo Giuseppe Maria Ferdinando Francesco of Savoy-Aosta ( January 29, 1873 - March 18, 1933 ), Duke of the Abruzzi (Duca degli Abruzzi), was an Italian nobleman, mountaineer and explorer of the royal House of Savoy. He is known for his Arctic explorations and for his mountaineering expeditions, particularly to Mount Saint Elias (Alaska–Yukon) and K2 (Pakistan–China). He also served as an Italian admiral during World War I.Chambers Biographical Dictionary, ISBN 0-550-18022-2, page 5

Personal life

In the early years of the twentieth century the Duke was in a relationship with Katherine Hallie "Kitty" Elkins ( Jan. 14, 1886 - Sept. 3, 1936 ), daughter of the wealthy American senator Stephen Benton Elkins ( 1841–1911 ), but the Duke's cousin King Vittorio Emmanuele III refused to grant him permission to marry a commoner. His brother, Emanuele Filiberto, to whom Luigi was very close to, convinced him to give up the relationship. His brother later approved of young Antoinette "Amber" Brizzi, the daughter of Quinto Brizzi, one of the largest vineyard owners in northern Italy. In the later years of his life, the Duke married a young Somali woman named Faduma Ali.

External references

Arctic expedition

In 1899 Luigi Amedeo organized an expedition towards the North Pole. In spring he arrived in the Norwegian capital Christiania (the present day Oslo) with 10 companions. The duke acquired the Jason, a steam whaler of 570 tons. Renamed Stella Polare (“Pole Star”) the ship took the expedition through the frozen sea. On 12 June they headed for Archangel (Arkhangel’sk).

On 30 June the Stella Polare dropped anchor in the docks of Arkhangel’sk and the duke was solemnly received by governor Engelhardt. The same day Luigi Amedeo was invited to meet the local authorities and the present foreign diplomats.

On 7 July a local newspaper wrote:

The city theatre arranged an extraordinary spectacle in the presence of the Duke of the Abruzzi. The drama The princess of Baghdad, consisting of three acts, was performed. Before the curtain was raised the orchestra had played the Italian royal anthem…

Later the duke himself wrote about his stay in Arkhangel’sk: "Our departure was set for July 12. Early in the morning the church was open to us and we, although being Catholic, were allowed to join the mass. In the afternoon all the dogs were brought back on board to their kennels. In the evening the Stella Polare put out and was escorted by two steamers down the Dvina. I still remained on shore, as well as Doctor Cavalli, in order to spend the evening together with our Italian friends. Next evening we left Arkhangel’sk. During the whole journey we saw flags being hoisted to welcome us…"

Twenty men took part in the expedition, among them Captain Umberto Cagni, Lieutenant F. Querini and Doctor A. Cavalli Molinelli. They planned to go to Franz Joseph Land, in the Arctic wilderness, to establish a camp in which to stay during wintertime and, afterwards, to reach the North Pole by dogsled across the frozen sea.

Luigi Amedeo established the winter camp on the Rudolf-Island. The expedition was to start at the end of the Arctic Night. The duke lost two fingers during winter because of the cold, which made it impossible for him to join the trip by sled. He left the command over the pole expedition to Captain Cagni. On 11 March 1900 Cagni left the camp and reached latitude 86° 34’ on 25 April, setting a new record by beating Nansen’s result of 1895 by 35 to 40 kilometres. Cagni barely managed to turn back to the camp until June 23. On 16 August the Stella Polare left the Rudolf-Island heading south and the expedition returned to Norway. During the expedition the northern coast of Rudolf-Island and two other islands were explored and measured.

Scientific works

  • La Stella Polare nel Mare Artico 1899-1900 (1902)
  • Osservazioni scientifiche, eseguite durante la spedizione polare di S.A.R. Luigi Amedeo di Savoia (1903, with Cagni and Cavalli-Molinelli)
Living octopus

Living octopus

In countries which are located near sea coasts, sea food is an important part of national cuisine