Source of Napoleon (Poggio)

Napoleon’s fountain, ancient source of Acquaviva Poggio

In the name of Source of Napoleon (Poggio), following the passage of the emperor, the ancient name was Fonte dell’Acquaviva, referring to the perennial water regime of the spring. The source was incorporated outside a public wash house with a masonry basin and central arch. On the occasion of Napoleon Bonaparte’s visit in August 1814 to the nearby town of Poggio, where he had five of his soldiers set up rudimentary seats with monzogranite stones at the source. The toponym Fonte di Napoleone originated from this episode. In the following year the structure was restored with the remaking of the two-pitched roof; subsequent restorations in the following years.
In 1840, in the square in front of the source there is the so-called Napoleon’s Table, consisting of a low masonry pillar and a horizontal millstone element in monzogranite from a nearby hydraulic mill in the valley . In 1947, at the behest of the Roman entrepreneur Giuseppe Cacciò, a water bottling plant was built. Fonte di Napoleone, on the facade of which the Latin maxim In aqua salus (“Health is in the water”) is engraved. In the same years, a dance floor was built on the slope above the wash house which, however, was soon abandoned due to the considerable humidity of the place.


Marble epigraphs from 1947 Fonte di Napoleone

« Very ancient salutary tradition and thoughtful suggestions of his people induced Napoleon the Great to entrust himself confidently to this source, seeking new health and new vigor for the wing broken by the hundred glorious flights. From 23 August to 14 September 1814, dictating to his faithful the eternal memories of the dazzling past, he healed bodily ills and left them healed by tying His Name to beneficial water to resume his fatal journey. Giuseppe Cacciò, starting in 1947 the enhancement of this richness of the Elban subsoil, wanted to restore the original source so that the guests staying there can draw faith in his prodigious healing virtues from the example of the Great.

At a higher altitude, near the source itself, there is another small plaque:

« Giuseppe Cacciò starting the hydroponic enhancement work on the Marcianese side; firmly believing in the precious qualities of this water; so he wanted to arrange the generous source in the MCMXLVII. The craftsman Giuseppe Giretti executed it.

How to reach the historic source of Poggio

The Source of Napoleone is located on the road that from Poggio leads to Marciana Alta. About 1 km outside the village. North West side of the Island of Elba


Position of the Source of Napoleon