Villa San Martino: a Napoleon’s museum on Elba Island
- Published: 9 February 2015
- Category: Places to See
The so called Villa dei Mulini (“Mansion of mills”) was one of the two Napoleon’s houses on Elba Island. And during his exile on this island, the French Emperor had also a summer residence: it’s the famous Villa San Martino (“San Martino Mansion”), and today is a museum.
The origin of the name is the locality where Villa San Martino was built: San Martino is a little locality near Portoferraio, the main town of Elba Island. Here Napoleon wanted to build a little mansion that recalled the refinement and the luxuries of the Paris court residences.
Napoleon resided in Villa San Martino for a short time. After the French Emperor leaved Elba Island, the mansion was in a state of abandon for years. As long as the Russian tycoon Anatolij Demidov married Mathilde Bonaparte, nephew of Napoleon, and came into possession of the mansion.
The most important halls of Villa San Martino are the libray (where Napoleon spent the most time), the Neoclassic bath known as di Paolina (Pauline Bonaparte, favorite sister of Napoleon), the Sala del Nodo d’Amore (“Hall of the love knot”) and at least the famous Sala Egizia (“Egyptian hall”), decorated with pyramids and hieroglyphics.
When he came into possession of the mansion, tycoon Anatolij Demidov built one of the most visited part of Villa San Martino. It’s the so called Demidov gallery, in Neoclassic style. And today the gallery is a museum where are collected weapons, paintings and other relics of Napoleon.
The Napoleon’s museum of Villa San Martino on Elba Island is opened everyday:
- On working days, from 9am to 7 pm;
- During public holidays, from 9am to 1pm.
For more information, visit Comune.portoferraio.li.it.
Image source: Flickr.com/photos/etmeyer