Portoferraio: Villa dei Mulini di Napoleone
This was the emperor's public residence and certainly the most important Napoleonic site in Elba. Following the defeat of the French army in Leipzig and the subsequent Treaty of Fontainebleau, Napoleon, now in enemy hands, was forced to abdicate April 4, 1814. The former emperor arrived at Portoferraio on the evening of May 3, 1814 aboard the English frigate Undaunted.
He devoted himself at once to establish an efficient organization on the island, based on the same formulas and techniques bureaucratic empire. The villa dei Mulini was purchased and adapted for use by Napoleon by architect Paolo Bargigli, who demolished some windmills in order to make a lovely Italian garden, and built the always-essential ballroom on the ground floor. A few months later, Napoleon, who had personally followed not only the architectural design but also the choice of decorations and furnishings, settled in the small palace, completely decorated by Vincenzo Antonio Revelli, the court painter of Elba.