Sarzana and its secrets

Did you know that originally the Bonaparte family hails from Sarzana? In the city archives a document dating back to 1529 contains information regarding Francesco Bonaparte, who moved to Ajaccio to serve the Republic of Genoa. From his descendants Napoleon was born.  The City is tightly linked to the figure of the leader and his family will be repeatedly guest of Sarzana in several occasions.

August 16th 1817 Marie Louise, Archduchess of Austria, arrived in the city. She became Empress of France after her marriage with Napoleon. Following the collapse of the Empire she changed her noble title into Duchess of Piacenza, Parma and Guastalla. She overnighted in the Palace Picedi, right in the city centre, on the first floor and apparently nothing has changed from that day. Her bedroom with the alcove bed is still there and visitable.

After nearly twenty years, the granddaughter of the Emperor, Charlotte Bonaparte, on a trip to France, stopped in Sarzana due to an hemorrhage. At that time she was pregnant,   she lost her life and eventually also her child.
However, there are mysteries about her death and especially on her son’s fate.
A jealously guarded ring still in Sarzana might be the explanation of these mysteries.

If you are curious and want to know something more on the vicissitudes of Napoleon and the history of Sarzana do not waste your time, book a guided tour!