Excursion in Caserta
We offer a professional service to take you on an excursion to Caserta, giving you the opportunity to discover the incomparable beauty of Caserta Royal Palace and beautiful gardens.
Caserta tourist information
18th-Century Royal Palace at Caserta with the Park, the Aqueduct of Vanvitelli, and the San Leucio Complex*
UNESCO World Heritage Site
The Royal Palace of Caserta, in Italian Reggia di Caserta, is a former royal residence in Caserta, constructed for the Bourbon kings of Naples. It was the largest palace and probably the largest building erected in Europe in the eighteenth century. In 1996, the Palace of Caserta was listed among the World Heritage Sites on the grounds that it was "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".
The construction of the palace was begun in 1752 for Charles VII of Naples, who worked closely with his architect Luigi Vanvitelli. When Charles 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 Reggia, as he resigned from the throne in 1759 to become King of Spain, and the project was carried to completion for his third son and successor, Ferdinand IV of Naples.
The political and social model for Vanvitelli's palace was Versailles, which, though it is strikingly different in its variety and disposition, solves similar problems of assembling and providing for king, court and government in a massive building with the social structure of a small city, confronting a baroque view of a highly subordinated nature, la nature forcée. The Royal Palace of Madrid, where Charles had grown up, which had been devised by Filippo Juvarra for Charles' father, Felipe V of Spain, and also Charlottenburg provided models. A spacious octagonal vestibule seems to have been inspired by Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute in Venice, while the palatine chapel is most often compared to Robert de Cotte's royal chapel at Versailles.
The reasons for building the Palace were to have a new magnificent administrative capital of the Kingdom in Caserta and to protect the court from possible attacks from the sea. The King also decided to build a theatre, a large library, and a university. The Palace might have been a splendid place for court ceremonies, too.
Vanvitelli died in 1773: the construction was continued by his son Carlo, until it was ended in 1780.
As finished, the palace has some 1,200 rooms, two dozen state apartments, and a royal theatre modelled after the Teatro San Carlo of Naples.
The population of Caserta Vecchia was shifted 10 kilometers to make it available to the new palace. A silk manufactory at San Leucio resort, was disguised as a pavilion in the immense parkland.
A monumental avenue, 20 kilometers in length, which would have connected the Palace to Naples, was never realized.
In 1945 the palace was the site of the signing of terms of the unconditional German surrender of forces in Italy. The first surrender of German forces of the war. The agreement covered between 600,000 and 900,000 soldiers along the Italian Front including troops in sections of Austria.
What to see in Caserta
- Caserta Royal Palace
- Park of Caserta Royal Palace