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Scipione Borghese

Borghese (left) and Barzini (right) in the Peking to Paris race.
Born 1871
Died 1927
Nationality Italian
Occupation Adventurer, politician
Known for Winning 1907 Peking to Paris race

Prince Luigi Marcantonio Francesco Rodolfo Scipione Borghese, commonly known as Scipione Borghese (11 September 1871, Migliarino - 18 November 1927, Florence) was an Italian industrialist, politician, explorer, mountain climber and racing driver.

He is best known for participating in (and winning) the Peking to Paris race in 1907, accompanied by the journalist Luigi Barzini, Sr. and Ettore Guizardi, the prince's chauffeur, who apparently did most of the driving. Nevertheless, before 1907, he had already become known internationally as a traveller, explorer, diplomat and mountain climber. In 1900 he had finished a journey in Asia from the Persian Gulf to the Pacific Ocean, publishing his experiences in the book In Asia: Siria, Eufrate, Babilonia (In Asia: Syria, Euphrates, Babylon) in 1902, which proved a success. Subsequently he also completed a journey across China, recounted in another book.

Tall and abstemious, he was a man of little words, cold, with calm and measured manners, and with great self-control. He was a deputy of the Partito Radicale in the Italian parliament of 1904 to 1913, fought bravely in the First World War, and began important improvement works in the "Agro Romano".


Borghese was the eldest son of Paolo, 9th Prince of Sulmona (1845-1920) and his wife Ilona, Countess Apponyi de Nagy-Appony. He was twice married, firstly to Anna Maria de Ferrari (23 March 1874-25 November 1924), daughter of Gaetano, duca di Ferrari by his wife Maria Annenkov, on 23 May 1895, and they had 2 daughters. His second marriage to Teodora Martini on 8 August 1926 produced no issue. He was succeeded in the title Prince of Sulmona by his brother Livio Borghese, 11th Prince of Sulmona (1874-1939), second son of the 9th Prince.


  1. Santa Borghese (1 November 1897 Île de France, Paris - 13 April 1997 Rome). She married 4 July 1925 at Isola Borghese, Lago di Garda, Astorre Hercolani, 9º principe Hercolani. They had apparently no issue.
  2. Livia Borghese (4 March 1901 Île de France, Paris - 14 December 1969 Bologna, nine months after the death of her husband); she married 30 December 1930 at Isola Borghese, Lago di Garda, Alessandro, conte Cavazza ([1895]]-1969), by whom she had three sons (the eldest apparently born 1922, or eight years before her marriage), and several descendants. The three sons of Donna Livia, contessa Cavazza and their descendants are the only descendants known of Scipio Borghese.


  • This page is a translation of its Italian counterpart.


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