The Italian Almanac

Paolina Bonaparte by Canova

Italian News - July 30

The villa Napoleon's favorite younger sister had built here to serve as her love nest has been fully restored and open to the public for an exhibition running until September 4. Named 'Venus' Hideaway', Paolina Bonaparte's sumptuous villa was built by the sea in 1815 and stands out for its many pillars, lavish decorations, classic frescos and exquisite gardens.

The villa was her own hideaway where she consumed her passionate affair with the composer Giovanni Pacini, a contemporary of Gioacchino Rossini, Gaetano Donizetti and Giovanni Bellini.

The exhibition includes furniture, books, watercolors, ceramics and documents from the early 19th century, along with a bust of Paolina by Canova and a cape worn by Napoleon, on loan from the Napoleon Museum on the island of Elba. Most of the pieces in the exhibition come from the Napoleonic museums in Elba and Rome.