The iconic “Napoleon Crossing the Alps” painting by Jacques-Louis David. Grand chandeliers, elegant checkerboard tile floors and a painted vaulted ceiling in the library. These are just a few of the treasures you can encounter when visiting the home of two of history’s most storied lovers: Napoleon and Josephine.
“Meanwhile, my sweet love, a thousand kisses; but do not give me any, for they set my blood on fire.”
“Believe me it is not in my power to have a single thought which is not of thee, or a wish I could not reveal to thee.”
“Soon, I hope, I will be holding you in my arms; then I will cover you with a million hot kisses, burning like the equator.”
These are just a small sampling of Napoleon’s intensely romantic love letters which he wrote to Josephine while away with the French army. Their ever-tumultuous, volatile love story is one of the most fiery romances the world has ever seen… and much of it heated up inside their magnificent home just a few miles outside of Paris. The couple first met at a dinner party thrown by Josephine’s then-lover and the de-facto governor of France, Paul Barras. He encouraged Josephine to use her charms on an instantly smitten Napoleon and they soon became lovers. Josephine had captured the heart of the man who eluded the armies of Europe. She was chic and stylish, a darling of Parisian fashionistas and the most powerful social circles in Paris. While on the other hand, Napoleon was short, rough around the edges and blunt. They were opposites in many ways but both were strikingly intelligent with an insatiable desire for power. Together, they’d find it.
After a whirlwind courtship, Napoleon proposed marriage in January of 1796. Days after they were wed, Napoleon left to command the French army near Italy. He begged his wife to join him for their honeymoon -- but why just honeymoon in Milan when you can purchase a lovely grand chateau?