Napoleone Bonaparte

Napoleone Bonaparte - Emperor of Elba

Napoleone Bonaparte - Emperor of Elba

The history of Elba is rich and interesting: Etruscans, Romans, Saracena, Pisans, Spanich, French and the Medicis. The attraction over the centuries was due mainly to the importance of its iron mines (the name Elba derives from Ilva) but also to its strategic position in the observation and control of the sea routes. Every invader left important relics of their presence: fortresses, castles, walled towns, towered buildings and archaeological sites of all sorts. Without a doubt the most illustrious “guest” to grace the island was Napoleone Bonaparte who was exiled idyllically here for 10 months. Following his defeat at Leipzig Napoleon was forced to abdicate choosing to go to Elba which was then under French dominion. Here he was declared Sovereign. He rd th arrived on 3 May 1814 and left on 26 February 1815 on regaining the throne of France. Shortly after, he suffered the defeat of Waterloo which finished his career. th Exiled to the island of Sant'Elena, he died on 5 May 1821. Under his rule Elba flourished commercially, roads, bridges, schools, a hospital were built, transport was created, mining, vineyards and fishing hugely improved. The official flag of Elba still in use today was invented by Napoleon: three bees with a red diagonal stripe on a white background. He held a proper royal court with his officers, soldiers and carriages. His most favourite and beautiful sister, Paolina, arranged (sometimes outrageously) social life and entertainment. Catering to her whims, Napoleon transformed an antique church into a charming theatre (Teatro dei Vigilanti). The island (at the moment) is in the processes of preparing for celebrations to th be held in 2014 in honour of the 200 anniversary of Napoleon's ten month exile on Elba, the place where he actually lived for the longest consecutive period of his life. An extraordinary event which will further enhance the attraction of the Napoleonic residences which are among the most highly frequented museums in Tuscany.

Visit the Napoleonic Museums

By car: starting from Portoferraio Marina, it's possible to visit both Napoleonic Museums in about two hours. We suggest the services of our Official Tourist Guides to guarantee the utmost enjoyment from the visit. From here continue and take the panoramic tour of the island: discover the mountains and breathtaking landscapes, incredible vineyards, the wines and cuisine and the many historical attractions.

Napoleonic residence
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Dining with the Emperor

With a little notice it is possible to organize exclusive and enchanting evening events at the Villa dei Mulini Museum in the intriguing atmosphere of the gardens set into the Medician walls overlooking Portoferraio. Actors in Napoleonic dress add to the aura.