Events and festivals on Elba Island: the Maggio Napoleonico in Portoferraio

  • Published: 15 March 2017
  • Category: Events

maggio napoleonico

Sea, nature and culture: three things to identify a wonderful island. Elba Island will amaze you with beautiful beaches, pristine nature, vivid colours, art and history: the best ingredients of your holiday here. And of this holiday will be in spring, in Portoferraio will take place a very peculiar event: the Maggio Napoleonico (literally, “Napoleonic May”).


The Maggio Napoleonico

It is famous (also) because, for 300 days, it hosted Napoleon: we are talking about Portoferraio. In this village of Elba Island, in May it is celebrated the exile of the First French Emperor. The re-enactment begins with the holy mass in the Chiesa della Misericordia. Inside this church, there is a sarcophagus on which are placed the funeral mask and the bronze cast of the Emperor’s right hand.

After the Mass, the historical parade cross streets and squares of Portoferraio and arrives near Villa dei Mulini, the house of Napoleon in Portoferraio. Each year, a themed event celebrates this time, retracing the landmarks of his exile.


History and culture in Portoferraio

A charming port on one of the pearls of the Mediterranean Sea: this is Portoferraio. The first, real contact with the Elba Island is here, between natural treasures and timeless places. Villa dei Mulini, in Portoferraio, and Villa San Martino, in San Martino (near Portoferraio) where the two houses of Napoleon.

But also the Teatro dei Vigilanti, a church turned into a theatre  by Pauline Bonaparte, sister of the Emperor. Do not miss even the Archeological Museum, to discover the ancient history of this island.

We mentioned the Chiesa della Misericordia: near, there’s the Napoleonic Museum. It is a small museum housing sacred chalices, vessels and vestments dating back to from the Napoleonic era. If you are a history enthusiast, you cannot miss the opportunity to visit this place.


If you want to land, just as Napoleon did, on Elba Island, do not forget to book your ferry.


Image source: Pixabay