The other day, walking through the narrow streets of the medieval town, I am intrigued by a marble plaque at n°7 rue des Deux Empereurs. And I read as follows: “Napoleon Bonaparte, Lieutenant-Colonel of the 2nd battalion of Corsican volunteers, lived in this house …”. Ah good, so the emperor lived in Bonifacio??
An investigation is required.
Rapidly, I sit on a shady terrace and begin to research on my smartphone. My investigation is progressing fast: I discovered that in 1793, in order to prepare the expedition of the Maddalena (Sardinia is 12 kilometres from Bonifacio), the young, 24 year old officer, stayed in the city of the cliffs from 22nd January to 3rd March 1793. He set up his home in a house, belonging to his 13th century ancestors, where the plaque is fixed.
I am on the right track.
What? Napoleon originates from Bonifacio? I don’t think so. I continue to research. And I find … that between 1238 and 1291, “Bonaparte” lived in Bonifacio”. Good find. And even better: it would seem that a certain Francesco Bonaparte, notary and “senior” of the town of Ajaccio, married a local girl, Camille Cattacciolo at the beginning of the 17th century. There, I congratulate myself that my research was fruitful.
Incredible but true.
As much as this is confirmed: in another document, I discovered that it is established that Charles, Napoleon’s father, is a direct descendant of the seventh generation of the Francesco Bonaparte and Camille Cattacciolo couple. Bingo! So yes, far fetched perhaps, but it is certain: Napoleon Bonaparte’s veins contained Bonifacien blood.
Editor’s note: Without delay, I will speak to my friend, Pierre Gazano: who is a conference guide and organizes a guided tour every Tuesday afternoon. The opportunity for you to discover Bonifacio, its narrow streets, its history and even more… Reservation at the Tourist Office (04 95 73 11 88).