After the Palais Fesch I just had the time to visit la Maison Bonaparte (Casa Bonaparte), birthplace of Napoleon. Just a week ago I was pointing out the sites of Waterloo to our children and, as we drove through Genappe, recounting how the Prussians had chased Napoleon’s column through its narrow streets after the great battle had been lost. Now, I was standing in the house where it had all begun. Despite being choc-a-bloc full of Napoleon memorabilia, only the shell of the house the young Napoleon would have known remains. The restored décor and furniture dates from Napoleon III. The guidebooks I read were pretty dismissive about this museum but I think it is worth a visit because the overall exhibition (maybe it has been redone since the guidebooks were written) very cleverly hints at the probable origin of Napoleon’s imperial and dynastic ambitions. For the Bonaparte family only gradually acquired the whole of the house, buying floors and rooms over the years. Similarly, strategic marriages were an important part of their upward mobility. The revolution and all that followed transported the family to another universe but, the exhibition hints, the same instincts, of constantly adding on territory and marrying in and up, continued. I also learned two future Trivial Pursuits answers. The first is that Napoleon was actually Napoleone, with the last ‘e’ being pronounced, Italian-style, and indeed called himself by that name until his twenties, when he wanted to sound more French (he never got rid of his Corsican accent, though). The second is that his mother’s nickname for him was ‘Nabulio’, which is rather sweet.