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“Beautiful site, great view ... but”

Villa of San Martino
Ranked #11 of 35 things to do in Portoferraio
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Attraction details
Owner description: Napoleon's "country/summer home", only about 5 kilometers from town.
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level Contributor
206 reviews
97 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“Beautiful site, great view ... but”
Reviewed 20 October 2013

I agree with SillyPinguin. Napoleon's villa is sadly in very poor shape. The gardens are virtually non existent. The trees are beautiful, but all the flower pots have dead plants in them. A touch of paint and a little care would make all the difference.
You pay Euro 3 to park your car and about Euro 4 to go in to the old house.. So sad for such an incredible character!

But, a visit to the Island of Elba is really well worth while. It is beautiful. The little coves and beaches are truly stunning. Be aware, even though the island is small, it is very hilly with narrow twisty roads and it takes time to get around the island! Spend a night and enjoy all the island has to offer. You can catch the ferry from Portofino, it carries cars and takes 1 hour.

Visited September 2013
Thank Jenny H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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344 reviews from our community

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English first
Epsom, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
242 reviews
106 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 92 helpful votes
“A disappointing day all round!”
Reviewed 22 September 2013

We were very disappointed with the villa Napoleon on Elba and the island itself, a bit if a cheek asking for an admission fee really. We had visions of Elba as a special place until we visited. Getting there by public transport is challenging. The regional train service is confusing, our ticket for the train turned out to be a train and bus ticket as we had to leave the train and get on a bus to get to the harbour at Piombino. There was a lack of helpful information on all levels with the regional trains in this area. On our return journey there was not even a sign indicating where the station at the harbour was, which caused a lot of difficulties. We spent as much time travelling about 20 kms on trains and buses as we did on the island of Elba! The ferry prices were expensive and the island itself offered little of interest. After a long climb, the villa itself was unwelcoming and lacked any information in the English language. How much trouble would it have been to put the odd sentence in English under the Italian and French explanations of the exhibits? Amazing since the place claims to have spent a fortune in restoring the exhibits.All in all we felt we had wasted a day.

Visited September 2013
3 Thank 186Steve
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
5 reviews
“Don't go on Tuesday!”
Reviewed 13 August 2013

We arrived at the villa after a hot walk to find a locked gate and a rather distracted group of tourists milling about like lost sheep outside. Careful scrutiny of the notice revealed the words (in small print) "closed on Tuesday"!!!! In August? What's that about?! It looks nice from the outside and you can overview the pleasant gardens if you climb to the Stella fort nearby (this is a rip off at 2 euros entry for just a few ramparts, by the way). But we couldn't see it having come all the way from north of Siena on a Tuesday. However the entry fee of 3 euros seems good value (we may never know!).

Visited August 2013
Thank Simon C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
29 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Fine if you are obsessed by Napoleon”
Reviewed 30 May 2013

Quite interesting. Lovely views from the terraces. Not easy to access if a wheelchair is required as it is up a fairly steep drive.
Would prefer to see online.

Visited May 2013
Thank cloverSkipton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Very poor museum”
Reviewed 1 September 2011

Beautiful site, great view with Portoferraio as backdrop, but Napoleon's villa is in a very poor shape, and the museum does not even make a try at telling his story. Rather disappointing.

2 Thank SillyPinguin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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