Caserta Royal Palace
Visit Caserta Royale Palace
The Caserta Royal Palace is a palace and former Royal residence in Caserta, once used by the Kings of Naples. It was the largest palace and probably the largest building erected in Europe in the 18th century. In 1996, the Royal Palace of Caserta was listed among the World Heritage Sites.
The construction of the palace begun in 1752 for Charles VII of Naples, who worked closely with his architect Luigi Vanvitelli. When King Carlo saw Vanvitelli’s grandly-scaled model for Caserta it filled him with emotion “fit to tear his heart from his breast”. In the end, he never slept a night at the Royal Palace, as he resigned from the throne in 1759, and the project was carried to completion for his third son and successor Ferdinand IV of Naples.
Behind the facades of its matching segmental ranges of outbuildings that flank the giant forecourt, a jumble of buildings arose to facilitate daily business. In the left hand arc was built as barracks. Here, later, during World War II the soldiers of the US Fifth Army recovered in a “rest centre”.
Of all the royal residences inspired by the Palace of Versailles, the Royal Palace of Caserta is the one bearing the greatest resemblance to the original model: the unbroken balustraded skyline, the slight break provided by pavilions within the long, somewhat monotonous facade.
As at Versailles, a large aqueduct was required to bring water for the prodigious water displays.
Like its French predecessor, the palace was designed to be the powerhouse of an absolute Bourbon monarchy in the true Baroque fashion. Thus the enfilades of Late Baroque were the heart and seat of government, as well as displays of national wealth.
The palace also provided suitable housing for the royal family and the court of the Kingdom of Naples, and it housed the offices of government bureaucracy a national library, a university, a national theatre, all apart and free from the disorder and squalor of Naples.
Thus the King of Naples at caserta was free from the mob and factions of his capital in the same way as Versailles had freed Louis XIV from Paris. To provide the King with extra protection a barracks was also housed within the precincts of the palace.
Other places to visit
Positano was a prosperous port of the Amalfi Republic in the 16th and 17th centuries. In the mid-19th century the town had fallen on hard times and more than half the population emigrated, mostly to the United States of America.
Amalfi is a town and commune in the province of Salerno, in the region of Campania, in Italy, on the Gulf of Salerno, 24 miles southeast of Naples. Today Amalfi is one of the most important touristic places of Italy, and millions of people come there.
Ravello was an important town of the Maritime Republic of Amalfi, an important trading power in the Mediterranean between 839 and around 1200. Places to visit: Villa Rufolo (1270), built by Nicola Rufolo, one of the richest men of Ravello.
Mount Vesuvius is a volcano east of Naples, in Campania Region, in Italy. It is the only volcano on the European mainland to have erupted within the last hundred years, although it is not currently erupting.
Paestum in an ancient city located in the south Italy, in Campania Region, on the Gulf of Salerno (the ancient Bay of Paestum).
Herculaneum was originally discovered when a well was being dug in the early 18th Century at a depth of 50–60 feet below the modern surface.
Founded in the sixth or early fifth century B.C., Pompeii was a Roman colony by 80 B.C. and became a prosperous port and resort with many noted villas, temples, theaters, and baths. Pompeii was destroyed by an eruption of Mount Vesuvius in A.D. 79.
Naples was founded by the Greeks around the VIII century B.C., just few kilometers from the older town of Partenope; this ‘new town’ or ‘Neapolis’ has been absorbing the influences of its settlers and invaders ever since.
Sorrento is a small city in Campania Region, in Italy, with some 16,500 inhabitants. It is a popular tourist destination.