Napoleon on Elba Island: the two residences in Portoferraio

Napoleon on Elba IslandNapoleon, the First French Emperor, was exiled to Elba Island in 1814. During his exile, he lived in Portoferraio, the main town of the island. And here the French Emperor had two residences. Two places where is possible to discover the story of Napoleon during his first exile.

Villa dei Mulini (“Mansion of mills”) – The Bastione dei mulini (“bastion of mills”) is one of the Medici fortresses in Portoferraio. Mills where in this place before Napoleon’s disembarkation on Elba Island, and this is the origin of the name. Here was built the Mansion of mills, the main residence of Napoleon. Today the mansion is a museum: in its two pavilions are conserved the majority of the books of the French Emperor.

Villa San Martino (“San Martino mansion”) – It was the summer mansion of Napoleon: the French Emperor built it in San Martino, a little locality near Portoferraio. But Napoleon never lived in this mansion: he escaped from Elba Island immediately after the end of construction. Today also Villa San Martino is a museum, and the Sala Egizia (“Egyptian hall”) is the most famous part of the mansion.

Elba Island flag – The original Elba Island flag (white, with a red diagonal stripe in which there are three golden bees) in conserved into Villa dei Mulini museum. Napoleon gave this flag to Elba people. The three bees represent the three parts of Elba Island, united by Napoleon (and the golden bees are very often a symbol in the Napoleon iconography).

Three places where it’s possible to discover the story of Napoleon on Elba Island.


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