On the footsteps of Napoleon on the Elba island: 7 places to see

Napoleon Elba Island

The first French Emperor remained in exile on the island from May 4, 1814 to February 27, 1815. An exile lasted almost a year. And you can retrace the history of Napoleon on Elba island. Visiting the seven sites most closely linked to the first French emperor.


1. Villa dei Mulini

As already mentioned, Napoleon landed on Elba on May 4, 1814. The French emperor, for the sake of precision, arrived in Portoferraio, the main inhabited centre of the island. Even today you can see the exact area where Napoleon set foot on Elba.

During his exile, the emperor moved very much to the island, making it more modern and efficient. But the house of Napoleon at Elba was in Portoferraio: it’s the famous Villa Mulini, which is part of the defensive system of the Medici fortresses.


2. Villa San Martino

Villa dei Mulini was the town residence of Napoleon. The French emperor also built another villa, San Martino (in the homonymous location just a short distance from Portoferraio) to be used as a summer residence. Both residences are Napoleonic museums and therefore visitable. Inside the Villa Mulini museum is also the first flag of the Elba island, donated by Napoleon.


3. Museum of Mercy

Also in the theme of museums it’s necessary to mention the Museum of Mercy, also in Portoferraio, where the sculpture of the hand and the funeral mask of Napoleon are kept.


4. Casetta Drouot

It’s located in Poggio, part of the municipality of Marciana. Counted on Count Drouot, Governor of the Elba island during the exile of Napoleon, is a 18th-century historic building decorated in the typical eighteenth-century style of the elephant.


5. Napoleon’s chair

During his exile on the Elba island, the French emperor often came to this small and curious rock overlooking the sea. Sometimes he stood there, others sat. But he always lost sight of Corsica, fantasizing and elaborating thoughts.


6. Spring of Napoleon

Always near Procchio, once was known as the Spring of Aquaviva, then was dedicated to the French emperor. The source of Napoleon is appreciated for the beneficial properties of its waters.


7. The Paolina Island

Spread over the Elba island there would be other places related to the French emperor, but usually the time during a holiday is little to see them all. Before leaving, however, there would be one last to visit: it’s the island of Paolina, so renamed in honor of Napoleon Bonaparte’s sister; Paolina Bonaparte particularly loved the small beach that faces that islet.


Image source: Flickr.com/photos/tvis

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