For the summer season, Napoleon chose a house in the countryside, the Villa di San Martino, at only 5 kilometers from Portoferraio. He made the interiors decorated by various artists such as Pietro Ravelli, who frescoed some emblematic rooms: the Sala Egizia or Egyptian Room, which refers to one of the general’s military campaigns, and has on the ceiling, the symbol of the power of fate, the Zodiac; the Sala delle Colombe or Room of the Doves, with two doves depicted in flight holding a ribbon in their beaks with a knot which becomes tighter as they move apart: a sign of loyalty to his wife Marie Louise of Austria; and Paolina’s bathroom, also known as the Room of Truth, because of the allegory of Truth painted on the ceiling.
A Doric style gallery was added to the villa in the mid 19th century, with a central pronaos, built for the Emperor’s cousin, Prince Demidoff, to hold Napoleon’s relics. There is also a statue of Galatea, attributed to Canova, depicting Napoleon’s sister, Paolina; legend has it that Paolina enjoyed sunbathing on a small rocky island in the Gulf of Procchio, which has since been named after her. Another Napoleonic museum can be found in the Church of the Misericordia in Portoferraio, which also houses some castings of the Emperor’s hand and face.