On Elba Island, a calendar of events dedicated to the figure of its most illustrious guest: Napoleon Bonaparte

On Elba Island, a calendar of events dedicated to the figure of its most illustrious guest: Napoleon Bonaparte

Exhibitions, concerts, historical re-enactments to immerse yourself in the atmosphere of the era and really feel like an emperor. All updated appointments at the dedicated events page.

On Elba, everything is ready to experience the Napoleon Experience, a new series of engaging appointment proposals organized by the Associated Management for Tourism of the Island of Elba in collaboration with Toscana Promozione.

Napoleon Experience will kick off on May 4 and will continue in the coming months with a full schedule of events, and will allow for an all-around vacation in a Napoleonic key, thanks to a unique travel experience that can mix culture, food and wine, nature, folklore and, of course, sea and relaxation. It will be like taking a trip back in time, discovering the places and curiosities, but not only, related to Napoleon's life on Elba: a great innovator who contributed decisively to making the Island a modern place for the time, with interventions that are still part of the culture of this territory today.

From the national museums of the Napoleonic villas to the reconstructed settings of the more intimate Casetta Drouot, from walks on Mount Capanne to the love nest in the setting of Madonna del Monserrato among cypress, agave and Mediterranean scrub: the Napoleon Experience will allow you to immerse yourself in the atmosphere of the Napoleonic era and also experience the excitement of the great festivities, tasting the Aleatico wine so beloved by the emperor, walking the paths that have always looked back to his native Corsica, and discovering how people lived among fine craftsmanship and precious minerals mined from the heart of the island.

To inaugurate the celebrations, three events presented by the National Center for Napoleonic Studies and History of the Island of Elba, together with the Associated Management of Elba's Municipal Archives and the Cultural Department of the Municipality of Portoferraio. It starts on May 4 at the Grand Guard House in Portoferraio with a journey to discover the works of art that Prince Anatolio Demidoff, husband of Matilda Bonaparte, donated to the city. Led by members of the Elban Battalion of the Petit Armée cultural association and immersed in an atmosphere of careful historical reconstruction, guests will follow a path through the works that will lead them from the Council Chamber to the city cathedral where they will be welcomed by new Napoleonic characters and a concert organized by the cultural association Historiae with the collaboration of the Petite Armée. It will also be the Petit Armée that will animate Villa della Linguella (Portoferraio) on May 11, 18 and 25 with evening activities designed for everyone and a reconstruction of a real Napoleonic encampment.

The exile of the eagle is the docufilm - made on the occasion of the bicentenary of Napoleonic Elba in 2014 by director Stefano Muti, produced by Revolver in collaboration with Elba-based Cosmomedia, with the patronage of the Tuscany region and the support of Toscana Film Commission - that the May 10, in the Nello Santi hall of the De Laugier Cultural Center., will recount through the voices of Napoleonic history experts such as Luigi Mascilli Migliorini, Thierry Lentz, and Alan Forrest the salient episodes of Bonaparte's stay on the Island.

On May 11, the Historical Archives of the Municipality of Portoferraio unveils its treasures and in the spaces of the De Laugier Cultural Center displays original documents and objects witnessing the fifteen years of French rule on Elba Island. A jump into the administrative and daily life of the period.

Also in Portoferraio, there will be no shortage of concerts and animated visits to the Palazzina dei Mulini and Villa San Martino with artists and characters in period costume guiding guests through an evocative and original experience amid scenes of daily life and theatrical performances.

Coming to life under the sign of Napoleon's story will be the whole island, from Capoliveri, where the company i Bardi del mare will revive the legend of the Vantina between classical music and words, to Procchio (Marciana) to immerse oneself in the daily life of the Napoleonic era, to the Sanctuary of Madonna del Monte where the clandestine love between Bonaparte and Maria Walewska was consummated. For the romantics, the reading of the love letters exchanged between Napoleon and his first wife Josephine is not to be missed.

If lovers of good food will enjoy the napoleonic dinners based on menus inspired by the recipes of the time-from cappon di galera to the emperor's leg of pork, without giving up a toast with Aleatico, for which Napoleon himself established the first AOC in history; sportsmen, on the other hand, can explore the beauty of the island by following trekking and MTB routes that retrace the most significant places of Bonaparte's stay in Elba. Excursions suitable for all types of difficulty that will lead travelers to the rediscovery of the Napoleonic places par excellence: from the Sanctuary of the Madonna del Monte (Marciana) to the Beach of Paolina, from which it is possible to admire the small island where, according to a legend, Paolina, Napoleon's sister, loved to sunbathe. Also not to be missed are the Rio Marina Mines and Capo Stella, with its trails overlooking the south coast, and the Emperor's hunting preserve.

After last years' success, the Napoleonic Passport returns for the occasion, a game to visit Elba's quintessential Napoleonic sites, venturing along a route in stages, all indicated on the document, that will let the curious and lovers of history and culture discover the island's beauty. At the end of each visit, it will be possible to ask the officials for a stamp certifying the stage. Once you have completed the course, you will be able to collect your Napoleonic certificate at the Info Park Area (Elba Avenue, harbor area) and the La Gattaia Infopoint (Via Vittorio Emanuele II) in Portoferraio. A journey among some of the most beautiful places on the Island whose history and fortunes were inextricably linked with the passage of the French Emperor.

Among the events that cannot be missed is the permanent exhibition Fashion at the Time of Napoleon, in Capoliveri in the Art Gallery of the Sea Museum, for a journey to discover the style of the time, an expression of the society, culture, and taste of a people. A mirror of life and thought, with features so distinctive that they have marked a real imagery that we all know as "empire style."

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Mines of Rio Marina

Strategic location for the large amount of hematite and limonite immediately identified by the emperor as soon as he landed on the island as a strategic-military axis.
Location: Rio Marina

Paolina Beach

The beach is named after the islet a few meters from the shore, itself named after Napoleon Bonaparte’s sister who, according to a legend (probably created by a tourism entrepreneur in the 1960s) loved to sunbathe on these rocks.

Location: Marciana

San Martino Villa

Designated as a summer residence, Napoleon purchased the property from the Manganaro family in 1814, with the intention of transforming it into a comfortable and refined abode that would have nothing to envy from Parisian residences.

Location: Località San Martino (Portoferraio)

Mulini Villa

Built in 1724 by Grand Duke Gaston de’ Medici, it was Napoleon’s city residence during his first stay on Elba Island.

Location: Portoferraio

Sanctuary of Monserrato

It was built as a sign of gratitude in 1606 by José Pons y León of the Dukes of Arcos, Spanish governor of Naples and first governor of the square of Longone (part of the state of principals). In September 1814 Napoleon, accompanied by Pons and Bertrand wanted to visit the sanctuary.

Location: Località Monserrato (Portoazzurro)

MUM Mineralogical Museum

While the Elban economy today is based on tourism, the fact remains that the people of San Piero and the west coast (Pomonte) have also lived and continue to live off their granite and marble

Location: San Piero in Campo

Port and Tower of Marciana Marina

Visit the harbor where Maria Walewska landed and the armed watchtower visited by Napoleon himself in 1814

Location: Marciana Marina