The present house was the second residence in Ajaccio of the Bonaparte family, who came from Italy in the late 15th century. The house was repeatedly enlarged through the years.
In 1764, Charles-Marie Bonaparte, a lawyer for the Corsican High Council, married Letizia Ramolino, the daughter of an renowned Ajaccio family. The couple settled on the first level of the house, in which the rest of the family was still living. Their oldest son, Joseph, was born in Corte, but Napoleon, Lucien, Louis, Jerome and their three sisters were all born in this rather luxurious house.
In 1793, the Bonaparte family, who supported the Republic, were forced out of Corsica, then ruled by Pascal Paoli and his English allies. The house was plundered, while their rural properties were ravaged. Letizia was allowed back in 1797, and thanks to substantial compensation, she embellished the house with a new apartment, and new furniture. On his return from Egypt in 1799, General Bonaparte visited the house for the last time.