According to tradition, this carriage was donated by Ferdinand II, King of Naples, to Pius IX on the occasion of his return to Rome in April 1850 following his exile due to the upheaval of the Roman Republic.
On 24 November 1848 Pope Pius IX was forced to flee Rome by night disguised as a priest, in order to seek refuge in Gaeta, then Bourbon territory. On 4 September 1849, upon invitation from Ferdinand II, he moved to the Royal Palace of Portici on board the steamship “Tancredi”, the first time a Pope had travelled on a steamship. During his stay in Naples Pius IX also experienced for the first time a trip by train, and visited the Pietrarsa railway works, where he was favourably impressed. Upon returning to Rome he continued his reformist policy, that also led to the construction of the first railway in central Italy: from Rome to Velletri, inaugurated in 1862.