The Royal Palace of Caserta
Known as the Italian Versailles, the Royal Palace of Caserta is one of the most superb buildings made during the royal dynasty of the Bourbons. The building has been declared World Heritage of Mankind by the UNESCO and is visited by thousands of people every year.
The royal residence is surrounded by a huge park divided into two gardens: the Italian one and the English one. Commissioned by Charles II, it was planned in 1751 by Architect Luigi Vanvitelli, succeeded by his son Carlo in 1773, and became a symbol of the new bourbon state and of its power as it was in its king’s will.
The imposing royal building is preceded by a square entitled to Charles III, delimited, east and west, by two buildings which resemble the colonnade of the Basilica of San Pietro. The royal apartments, preceded by an imposing colonnade with two aisles and a nave, are made up of an eighteenth-century part and a nineteenth-century one. To the Royal Palace also a Library belongs, which includes over 10,000 books of art, law, science and philosophy.
On permanent show, in an elliptic room next to the reading rooms, there is the royal Crib, made up of small statues by the masters of the Neapolitan crib art dating back to the Eighteenth century. From the Crib Room one can reach the part of the Royal Palace which is the richest in paintings of the 18th and 19th centuries.
The royal home also includes the Court theatre, the Opera Museum and the Palatine Chapel with one nave, with a semicircular apses and a lacunar barrel vault.
Closed on Tuesdays; December 25th; January 1st
Visiting Times for the Apartments: 8.30 a.m. – 7.30 p.m.; last entrance: 7.00 p.m.
Show Times: 9.00 a.m. – 6.00 p.m.; guided visit every hour
Park and Garden Times: opening 8.30 a.m.