By Phil Hanlon
Caserta is the name of a province in the north of the Campania region, and also the name of its capital city. This small area is mainly residential, though it has one major tourist attraction that is popular with Italians and foreigners alike; the opulent Royal Palace of Caserta and its spectacular gardens. If you enjoy history, art or walking in beautiful natural surroundings, then the Royal Palace will have something that you will enjoy.
Royal Palace of Caserta
The Royal Palace of Caserta was one of the world's largest buildings when it was constructed in the 18th century for the Bourbon kings of Naples, and its scale is still impressive today. It was inspired by the Palace of Versailles in Paris, and tourists who have been lucky enough to see both will recognise similarities between the two. The palace has over 1,200 rooms, though not all are open to the public, including two-dozen staterooms for social events, a large library, and a theatre modelled on the famous Teatro San Carlo in Naples. The grounds are not just home to the luxurious residence, however, as there was a silk production factory locate din what was once the hunting lodge, an attempt by the then King to establish fair working conditions and pay for his subjects.
The gardens are one of the highlights of visiting the Royal Palace of Caserta, stretching over hilly ground for a massive 120 hectares. Even the most dedicated of walkers will struggle to explore every corner of this beautiful park, with its laid-out gardens, fountains and sculptures. There is even an English Garden, modelled on the type popular in British country homes at the time. Movie buffs may recognise the palace, as it has been used as a location in many films over the years, including as the Naboo royal residence in the Star Wars prequels.
The Royal Palace even served as the spectacular headquarters of the Allied invading forces in 1943!
There is a war cemetery located on the outskirts of Caserta, which can be visited all year round. Over 700 soldiers from Commonwealth countries are buried here, who died after the Allied invasion of Italy in 1943 and the subsequent fighting against the German forces.
Museums in Caserta
There are a number of museums in the town of Caserta and in the Royal Palace itself, on a diverse range of subjects. The museums in the royal apartments feature one dedicated to traditional art, and another featuring examples of contemporary work, including fifty by Andy Warhol. In the old silk production factory, you can see examples of the machinery used and find out how the precious material was made in past time. In the town, there is a wax museum featuring the Bourbon kings and other important people from the history of Caserta, while the Museum Michelangelo tells the story of the region, from geological beginnings to the present-day.
The Author, Phil Hanlon, writes for Holiday Home Rentals who have a selection of Villas in Caserta and Apartments in Caserta which can be rented direct from their owners.
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