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Island of Napoleon's Exile Now Full of Pricey Holiday Homes

One hundred and ninety eight years ago today, the legendary French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte escaped his exile on the Mediterranean island of Elba and returned to France in an attempt to reclaim his throne. That was all fine and dandy until his defeat at Waterloo, after which Napoleon was banished to the remote Atlantic island of St. Helena. Though Napoleon wasn't well served by his departure from Elba, the island certainly hasn't suffered, with many people now spending millions to (not forcibly) reside on the 87-square-mile haven off the coast of Tuscany. This pink villa in the northwestern port town of Portoferraio is listed for $3.66M and includes seven bedrooms, six bathrooms, a planted courtyard, and views of a picturesque crescent-shaped beach. The interiors might not be fitting for an emperor, but nothing that a few renovation dollars couldn't solve.

? A classically-styled, sea-view villa, this stylish property was completed in the 1960s and today sits enshrouded in palm trees, with a tiled patio, swimming pool, and views to Corsica and Sardinia. Listed for $3.86M, the 3,500-square-foot house is surrounded by 0.63 acres of lush plantings. The house itself is currently divided into a large, ground-floor four-bedroom unit and two one-bedroom apartments on the floor above that could be used for income or combined to create one single-family getaway.

? A spacious stone farmhouse of nearly 5,400-square-feet, this hilltop estate is currently operated as a bed and breakfast, following an extensive 2003 restoration and renovation. Currently divided into a whopping 15 apartments—"one three-room apartment, six studios, eight two-room apartments"—it would require some serious reworking to return to use as a family home, but at least the hotel-sized swimming pool would be there to soothe frazzled nerves and take the edge off the $6.54M asking price.

? Designed by Italian architect Caccia Dominioni—a business partner of acclaimed industrial designer Achille Castiglioni—this stone villa was completed in 1984 and sits amid 17 acres of private park-like land, with apparently "stunning views of the Gulf of Marina di Campo," though none is demonstrated in the limited photography. Listed for $3.92M, the villa has four bedrooms and four baths, while a one-bedroom apartment provides space for staff or guests.

? With several odd architectural touches like a terraced, purple-tiled open air living space, this might be the strangest house on this list, but also, thankfully, the cheapest. That's not to say that this place is cheap. Despite its inland location and lack of sea views, the house still commands a $2.17M asking price, proof that there's more demand than ever for the sunny island of Napoleon's exile.

· Villa in Elba Island [Prestige MLS]
· Extraordinary villa, Elba Island [Rimontgo]
· Farmhouse with a view on Elba Island [Michelangelo Real Estate]
· Villa Elba Island [Michelangelo Real Estate]
· Modern Villa on Elba Island [European Real Estate]