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The marvellous Palace of Caserta

In Caserta, a city of Campania region, near Naples, rises the marvelous Palace of Caserta, a real treasure chest full of beauties and amenities and it is one of the largest palaces erected in Europe during the 18th century. In 1997 in fact the palace was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. But let’s go back to its roots. In 1750 Charles III of Spain, the Bourbon king, decided to erect the “Reggia” as the ideal centre of the new Kingdom of Naples, at that point independent and free from Spanish aegis. In the sixteenth century the site was occupied by Acquaviva palace and then that project was aimed to compete with the other European residences and was commissioned to the eminent architect Luigi Vanvitelli, already working on St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

The construction of this monumental work started in 1752 to be ended in the following century by other architects of Vanvitelli’s school. Its rectangular plant is made by four big inner courtyards and spreads for 47.000 square meters, with an height of 5 floors, that is 36 meters. An imposing portico constitutes a perfect link to the park and the fall, places scenographically at the peak of the vanishing point.

Palace of Caserta (Park) - IMG_3609

During your visit you will see the amazing “Scalone d’onore”, an invention of 700’s art that connects the lower with the upper vestibule, from which you can access into the royal apartments. On the upper vestibule you will admire the “Cappella Palatina”, without a doubt the element that presents most analogies with the Versailles Palace. Now let’s proceed towards the Museum, the result of a series of stagings started in 1919 and that made it patrimony of the Italian State. The “Appartamento dell’Ottocento”, the “Appartamento del Settecento”, the “Biblioteca Palatina” and the “Pinacoteca” compose this articulate artistic complex.

Palace of Caserta (Park) - IMG_3600

The Royal Park, presented by Luigi Vanvitelli itself to the royals, is inspired by the gardens of the great European residences and melts the Italian tradition of the Renaissance garden with some solutions used for Versailles. The present project is only a part of the original one but preserves the primitive composition rhythm of the interchanged fountains, water basins, fields and little falls. At the exit you will notice that the gardens are split in two parts with various parterres separated by a central path that leads to “Fontana Margherita”, fringed by tiny woods, places symmetrically to form a green and semi-circular theatrical scene.

Aside “Fontana di Diana”, in 1785, the English gardener realized the first Italian landscape garden on a surface of 24 hectares including hills, lakes, clearings and canals feeded by the Carolino Aqueduct and enriched by plants coming from all around the world. “The swan song of the spectacular art of the Baroque, from which it adopted all the features needed to create the illusions of multidirectional space“.

Reggia di Caseta