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The places of Luigi Pirandello's literary story (The Journey)

Well included in the IWB register of the Sicily Region (The Places of the literary, cinematographic, television story) - Sector "The Places of the literary story of Luigi Pirandello

This is the list of places entered in the LIM register:

The journey (Palermo):

  • Foro Italico,
  • Fountain of Hercules,
  • Favorita Park 


The trip is a short story by Luigi Pirandello published in 1910[1] and gives the title to the twelfth collection published in 1928 of Short stories for a year.

A film directed by Vittorio De Sica and having the same title was also made from this work (The trip).

The protagonist is Adriana Braggi, a widow who after thirteen years of mourning and seclusion leaves for the first time her native town in the Sicilian hinterland, in an attempt to cure the disease from which she was suddenly struck. The whole journey that Adriana takes, accompanied by her brother-in-law Cesare, is marked by an epiphanic process, coinciding with her discovery of life when she learned that she is about to lose it. Many of these revelations take place in front of the sea or in any case in front of the water; however the first of them takes place on the street, after the doctor's visit to Palermo, from which he learns the sad fate that awaits him. Despite this, leaving the doctor's house, Adriana, dazzled by the light of the setting sun, lets herself be carried away by the swarming crowd of the streets of the center, forgetting for a moment the death sentence she has just received: "life, life, life only did he feel his soul burst into turmoil […] not even a fleeting thought of his imminent and inevitable death ”.

Even more profound is the revelation that Adriana can enjoy in front of the Fountain of Hercules. In front of the slight undulation of that water, Braggi feels her spirit expanding immeasurably and acquires a total consciousness, coming to perceive eternity and feel herself as eternal. The city and nature, generally opposed by the author, in this case instead cooperate to determine the immersion of the protagonist in that continuous and indistinct flow that is Pirandello's life understood.

Despite the woman's initial resistance, the journey then extends beyond the sea, the crossing of which she experienced as a definitive separation from her own land and from the life she had led there up to that moment. When the steamship sails from the port of Palermo to the Gulf of Naples, Adriana experiences another epiphanic moment, favored by the simultaneous presence of the starry night and the sea. And it is in this dreamlike atmosphere that she also feels the hitherto hidden love for her brother-in-law Cesare, who has been in love with her for some time. The desire to let go grows stronger and stronger until, at the rising of the moon over the silvery expanse of water, Adriana, with great dismay, sees growing within herself an irresistible attraction for her travel companion, which forces her to hide , exhausted, her face on his chest.

Finally, it is in front of the sight of the city emerging from the waters that the last discovery takes place, that is the realization that his journey would have ended there. Thus, if in front of the Fountain of Hercules Adriana had seen life reborn within herself and love on the waters of the Gulf of Naples, it is in Venice that she decides to end her existence, in a city on the sea and crossed by canals, whose mortuary symbology has already been widely exploited by so much Italian and foreign literature.

Card insertion: Ignazio Caloggero

Photo: web

Information contributions: Ignazio Caloggero Web, 

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