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Tuscan Archipelago >> ART and CULTURE
" From Napoleon till Today"
The town of Napoleon par excellance is Portoferraio on Elba, where you can make an itinerary dedicated to the big emperor starting from the Mulini Palace, which was Napoleon's main residence during his years on the Tuscan island. It got its name from the mills that provided the old fortress, and here Napoleon equipped a big hall for the parties, a small theatre, several gardens among which the marvellous orange avenue stands out.
From the Prehistory to the Romans
From the Middle Ages to the Medici Family
From the Medici Family to Napoleon
Underwater archaeology
Still today the Mulini Palace hosts the first Napoleon flag that was hoisted on the island. The flag has a red stripe, white background with three golden bees, a symbol of the hard-working marine of Elba. The Napoleon itinerary continues with the visit to the Vigilante Theatre, in via del Carmine. It was built in 1616 by the governor Orazio of Bourbon and enlarged by the Medici family. The building was transformed into a theatre by the emperor who then gave it to his sister Paolina. The church of Misercordia is a building from the 17th century and is located along the Napoleon stairs. The funeral mask of the emperor is preserved here. A mess in his honour is held the 5th of May every year, since 1852. The San Martino Villa, just outside Portoferraio along the road that leads to Procchio, was the summer residence of the emperor. Here you find the so called "Bath of Paolina" decorated with the text "Qui odit veritatem odit lucem" over the marble bath-tub, the imperial library and two representation halls. One hall preserves the famous painting " The Knod of Love" and the other hall features a several wall decorations dedicated to the countryside of Egypt. The villa was abandoned after the death of Napoleon until the Florentine, Anatolio Demidoff, decided to purchase the property and make a museum hosting the relics of the emperor, the so called Demidoff Gallery. The Gallery opened in 1859 and features books, jewels, stamps, paintings and art items which belonged to Napoleon and his family. The bug and complete collection was unfortunately dismembered by Demidoff's heirs and for a short period the Gallery hosted a collection of natural science, but it is also lost. Today the collection belongs to the Italian state and preserves the Galatea statue, attributed to Antonio Canova. Supposedly, Paolina, the emperor's sister modelled for the statue.

Photos from APT Tuscan Archipelago and Mediaweb srl.
Villaggio Innamorata Isola d'Elba
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