Royal Palace of Caserta
The Royal Palace of Caserta, or Royal Palace of Caserta, is a historic home that belonged to the royal family of the Bourbon dynasty of Naples, proclaimed World Heritage by UNESCO, by Luigi Vanvitelli.
Located in the municipality of Caserta, at Via Douhet, 22, it is surrounded by a vast park in which two sectors are identified: the Italian garden and the English garden.
The Royal Palace of Caserta was commissioned by Charles III of Bourbon, who, struck by the beauty of the landscape of Caserta and eager to give a worthy representative seat to the government of the capital Naples and to his realm, wanted a palace to be built that could compare with that of Versailles, then considered the non plus ultra of royal residences. The residence consists of the Royal Palace and a huge park, with splendid fountains and a beautiful English garden.
The imposing bulk of the Palace is preceded by Piazza Carlo III, a large elliptical square adorned with flower beds. It is bordered to the east and west by two large buildings that repeat the progress of the colonnade of the basilica of s. Pietro in Rome. In them some regiments of the Bourbon kingdom were quartered.
From the central gate of the royal palace one enters the vast atrium from which begins the long gallery with three naves that goes up to the park gate. The aisles open onto the four courtyards. The central nave is called "the telescope" due to its resemblance to the aforementioned optical device and the vision that through it has the central axis of the park with its waterfalls and the "tower" that overlooks all of them and from which it flows the water that feeds waterfalls, waterfalls, pools and ponds. On the left of the Atrium there is the ticket office and the bookshop.
In the middle of the "telescope" there is the lower vestibule, which is the center of the ground floor; together with the upper vestibule, to which it is connected with the Grand Staircase, it immediately reveals the genius and perfection of Vanvitellian architecture.
The grand staircase has 116 steps, is adorned with two white marble lions and, on the bottom of the landing, has three statues: in the center the Majesty, on the left the Merit, on the right the Truth. The double elliptical vault is of great effect also because within it the musicians were placed to greet the king and his guests happily during receptions.
At the end you enter the upper vestibule, with the entrance to the royal apartments on the left, opposite the entrance to the Palatine Chapel and to the right the balustrade from which you have a wonderful view, from above, of the grand staircase and a complete enjoyment of the landing of the staircase of honor with the possibility ... to converse with the statues of Majesty, Merit and Truth.
We finally enter the Royal Apartments, which are composed of an eighteenth-century part and a nineteenth-century part, respectively to the left and to the right of the "Sala di Alessandro" which is reached after having crossed the "Hall of the halberdiers" and the "Hall of the guards of body". The Hall of Alexander was used as a throne room by Joachim Murat. This room has, on the left, the entrance to the exhibition of the works that make up the Terrae Motus Collection, performed by more than seventy international artists solicited by Lucio Amelio after the devastation of the 1980 earthquake.
To the right of the "Sala di Alessandro" opens the new apartment, so called because it was built in the first half of the nineteenth century. It abounds in gold and stucco and the Empire style dominates everything, though not always in a harmonious way. In it Ferdinando II wanted the Sala del Trono which, in the vault, has the aforementioned fresco by Maldarelli commemorating the laying of the first stone of the Palace. The King's apartment follows, already partly arranged by Murat. Following the bedroom of Ferdinand II with the beautiful white marble bathroom, the Murattiano apartment that ends with the Oratory, a private chapel.
The old apartment is instead to the left of the Alexander room and was curated by Carlo Vanvitelli from 1779 to 1790 with a host of artists who knew how to interpret and express the art of southern furnishing with grace and elegance. Cross the elegant Sala della Primavera, with Hackert's paintings, the Summer Room, the Autumn and Winter Room frescoed by Fischetti, Ferdinando IV's study and the King's Sitting Room and so on up to the rooms of the Library with the two reading rooms.
From the reading rooms of the library one passes to the elliptical room where the royal Nativity set with shepherds and animals of the '700 and' 800, some executed by well-known artists is set up. Several times his pieces have been stolen, sometimes found, in whole or in part. So even the one currently set up is a reconstruction of what was built for Ferdinand II.
We then move on to a series of rooms with paintings from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries concerning facts and characters of the time. At the end of these rooms one comes out, going down a staircase, on the landing of the grand staircase.
The Court Theater: The works had begun in 1757, but they had slowed down, because Vanvitelli, between the palace and the aqueduct, was seized by a whirlwind of commitments and responsibilities.
Only in 1768 did Vanvitelli resume work on the theater, completing the finishing touches, the decorations, the scenic arch, the wings, the backdrops and the lighting. The theater, circular in shape and enriched with 12 beautiful columns, has 42 boxes on 5 rows. The boxes are decorated with festoons, cherubs and masks; coats of arms and various allegories are painted in the scenic arch and in the vault. A system of doors was also built so that the same park could become the backdrop for the stage.
In 1769 the theater entered function with shows that then engaged the period of the carnival of every year, in the joyous and carefree theatrical seasons imposed by tradition by the Neapolitan rulers.
The Museum of the Opera: It is an educational section, introductory to the visit to the monument, and it is also the discovery of another palace, the underground one. In its rooms the development of the territory from the pre-Roman era to the present day is reviewed. Furthermore the path of the caroline aqueduct is illustrated; sketches, drawings and models prepared for the realization of the Royal Palace are shown; The royal family is illustrated with portraits and daguerreotypes. There is also a remarkable section of the necropolis that came to light during the 1990 works: the seven tombs with tufa tombs and their furnishings and few bone remains, left in situ, date back to the second half of the 4th century BC It is really to see.
The Palatine Chapel: The chapel has a single nave, with a semicircular apse and a barrel vault richly coffered. Above the entrance is the royal grandstand. The works for the royal chapel took place from 1757 to 1789, thus also committing Carlo Vanvitelli. Twin columns were placed on the side loggias to which light came from two orders of windows. On some of the columns the damage to it and to the entire chapel during the Second World War is clearly visible. The canvas of the "Immaculate" by Giuseppe Bonito has remained intact, overlooking the wooden model of the never-before-seen ciborium in semi-precious stones.
The Park of the Palace is a continuous succession of views, water features, waterfalls and waterfalls, some in the shade of a thick trellis of trees, others that open to the air and the sun offering spectacular views, others that show, while seeming to want to hide them, caves and crevices, in an ever new game of delights, in which nature and myths linked to water and woods are exalted. The park is a splendid and magnificent work of art that contributes to making the Royal Palace of Caserta one of the most beautiful in the world.
The park of the Palace is very large and extends for a complete visit it takes almost the entire day, so it is advisable to first visit the internal museums (Museum of the Opera and the Territory) - if necessary continue the visit to the royal apartments.
The Park consists in the lower part of the Pineta, with the two pools, of the Peschiera Grande (almost half a kilometer long and ending with three large and terrible dolphins from whose mouths the water that flows into the fishpond), from the Castelluccia and from the beautiful boulevards inside the bush, all to be discovered. In the upper part (going up towards the fountains), it is especially advisable for the elderly to go slowly or use the internal bus.
If you don't visit the entire park on foot, you can take the bus up to the Diana and Atteone waterfall, then visit the English Garden and then go down to the Margherita fountain. From here turn right for Peschiera Vecchia and Castelluccia
Let's see the times ..
HOURS APARTMENTS: 8:30 am - 7:30 pm last entry: 7:00 pm EXHIBITIONS HOURS: 9:00 am - 6:00 pm