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About Me:I'm a graduate student studying International Criminal Law and first started writing for King's News almost 4 years ago! My hobbies include reading, travelling and charity work. I cover many categories but my favourite articles to write are about mysteries of the ancient world, interesting places to visit, the Italian language and animals!
With picturesque marble rooms and an astonishingly long garden, the palace of Caserta is a true fairy-tale sight. Located in Southern Italy in the region of Caserta, the palace was built for the Bourbon King of Naples and was the grandest buildings which emerged in Europe in the 18th Century. It takes around forty minutes to drive to the palace from my house in Italy so I visited the palace annually and have never seized to be fascinated by the many wonders of the sight, which was labelled as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1997. As a child I imagined myself living in the palace and as I got older I grew to admire its astonishing architectural work. The architect with the highly ambitious task to build such a wonder was Luigi Vanvitelli and the project took place in 1752, once Charles of Bourbon, King of the Two Sicilies*, had approved the plans. Caserta became the ideal location as it was far enough from the sea that it avoided any problems a port location could bring – as just a decade earlier the British fleet had threatened to bombard the sea port city of Naples. Unfortunately King Charles abdicated to become King of Spain a few years later so he never actually was able to sleep in the palace, although the palace hosted a line of royalties once the project was completed.
1,200 rooms fill the palace, including luxurious libraries, very royal bedrooms and even a theatre – all of which were designed with the most precious of materials! When touring the grounds, some staircases are blocked off and restoration work is ongoing at the palace (known as ‘Reggia di Caserta’ in Italian). The ceilings are carefully decorated and mainly depict religious scenes; my favourite rooms are four, each of which are decorated and styled to the theme of a season – the spring room in particular is breath-taking as it breathes life and vitality even though nobody actually lives in the palace to-date. Out of all the castles and palaces inspired by that of Versailles, the Reggia di Caserta is said to have incorporated its features in the most artistic and royal manner.
The most beautiful part of the site is its very long garden which stretches for 120 ha. It starts from the posterior façade of the palace and features a long pathway which tourists can either hire vehicles like quads, bikes and a horse and carriage or walk on as they are surrounded by statues of beautiful Greek/Roman gods, freshly cut green grass and artificial rivers and cascades filled with fish. The pathway leads to the Great Cascade, at the feet of which sits a truly beautiful fountain with statues that depict the myth of Diane and Actaeon. There is also an ‘English Garden’ at the bottom of the garden which is, once again, enriched with plants and cascades. The architect built what is known as the Vanvitelli Aqueduct, an intelligent design which provides the palace with the necessary water to sustain such an overwhelmingly grand garden. So what are you waiting for – if you wish to get lost in the immense beauty of paintings or mesmerized by the serenity of such a magical garden, the Reggia di Caserta should definitely be on the top of your travel wish list!
*Italy officially became a country only in 1861; so when the palace was built the Italic Peninsular was divided into small kingdoms.
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