Napoleon personally supervised the transformation of what had been a large farmhouse in the hills 5km southwest of Portoferraio into an elegant villa where he could escape the summer heat. Romanticism and hubris both came into play as he sought to give his new residence a Parisian sheen – the pretty Room of the Love Knot and grand Egyptian Room were particular triumphs. In the 1850s, a Russian nobleman purchased the villa and built a grandiose gallery at its base.
Bus 1 travels between the port at Portoferraio and San Martino at least eight times per day (€1, 15 minutes). The car park near the villa charges a whopping €3.50.