Royal Palace at Caserta
The 18th-Century Royal Palace at Caserta, with the Park, the Aqueduct of Vanvitelli, and the San Leucio Complex is recognized because of the way in which it was adapted to the surrounding landscape and integrated already existing elements.
King Charles of Bourbon wanted a Royal Palace inland from Naples, the latter being too vulnerable for attacks from sea. The choice fell upon the ancient fiefdom of Caserta.
Luigi Vanvitelli was chosen as architect. The first stone was laid in 1752. He wasn't able to finish his work - he died in 1773. His son Carlo followed in his footsteps, and finished the impressive 250 m. wide facade and the five floors of the building. Inside, there are some 1200 rooms and 1790 windows.
The work on the gardens was started in 1753: they were designed after the models of Schönbrunn and Aranjuez. They measure 120 ha.
Visit December 2004
A rather profane remark first: the Reggia of Caserta has a large underground parking, from where a footpath leads you exactly to the front of the building. A great service in this often so difficult country for an average car driver. Caserta lies just north of Naples, on the way to Rome.
Because of the sunny (though also stormy) weather I decided to start my visit with the gardens. Water is the central theme here. There's a large "canal" in the center, and innumerable waterfalls and fountains.
Another thing absolutely not to be missed here is the giant staircase that leads up to the apartments. It's all marble where you look, with imposing statues looking down at you. Don't forget to look upwards, where colourful paintings decorate the ceiling.
Spending two days in Naples wouldn't be complete without a daytrip out to the Royal Palace of Caserta. Such was the reasoning that my girlfriend and I adopted during our recent trip to Campania. We took the bus from the Piazza Garibaldi (main train station) in Naples, and, although traffic was especially bad, the round trip was relatively painless and quite cheap. The palace is easy to find in Caserta, due to its being the only sight in town; if you find yourself disoriented, simply follow the tour busses or the large groups of students to the ticket office. Once inside, we decided to use the audio guides, which were very informative for the interior of the palace but, due to regulations, unavailable for the gardens. And regardless of how grand or impressive the decorations are on the interior of Caserta, it is the gardens that brings the crowds. They stretch for several kilometres, with the intricacy of their design increasing with each passing step. While Caserta is essentially just another of the European monarchs' flights of fancy, its excellence commands attention and attracts visits from all those interested in the lifestyles and tastes of the royal familiies of the 18th and 19th centuries.
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Full name: 18th-Century Royal Palace at Caserta, with the Park, the Aqueduct of Vanvitelli, and the San Leucio Complex
1997 - InscribedReasons for inscription
1995 - RevisionDerived from the TWHS of Caserta-Stupinigi and St. Leucio and Aquedotto Vanvitelliano
1990 - DeferredBoundary and Protection issues
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- Built in the 18th century Constructed between 1752 and 1780