The Royal Palace of Caserta, one of the most important historical buildings of Italian Baroque, is located just 40 minutes from Naples and you can get there easily by car or train

Do not miss the chance to enjoy the Royal Palace of Caserta thanks to one of our tours and enjoy your holiday to the fullest.

The Royal Palace of Caserta: from Charles's dream to Vanvitelli's project

The Royal Palace of Caserta was designed in the second half of the 18th century by the Campanian architect Luigi Vanvitelli. He was already considered at the time one of the most important exponents of the Baroque, and worked on the precise direction of the King of Naples Charles of Bourbon.
In fact, the young Spanish monarch, who ascended the throne at the age of eighteen, began a policy of strong renewal of a kingdom heavily marked by two centuries of foreign domination.
His project, destined to change the fate of the entire territory, began with the purchase of the fiefdom of nearby Caserta. He wanted a structure that was in harmony with the surrounding environments and which would bring benefits to the entire area to make the new Palace the tangible symbol of his Enlightenment’s power.
The work began on 20th January 1752, the day of the king's thirty-sixth birthday, with the laying of the first stone of a structure that involved the entire Caserta area, as demonstrated by the construction of the Carolino Aqueduct which supplied water not only to the Palace, but also to the surrounding area.
There were serious slowdowns when King Charles was forced to return to Madrid to succeed his brother on the throne of Spain, and the architect Luigi Vanvitelli passed away in 1773. After a few months of stalemate, the management of the large construction site was entrusted to Luigi's son, Carlo Vanvitelli, who continued his father's ideas despite some downsizing due to the crisis in the Kingdom. Work continued for several years until the Palace was completed in 1845, and today it is considered the last great example of Italian Baroque architecture.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the Palace became state property after being acquired by the Savoy family following the unification of Italy.

What to see in one day at the Royal Palace of Caserta

We have prepared a list for you with must-see attractions of the Royal Palace of Caserta in order to let you be enchanted by their beauty. It could be an opportunity for a walking holiday among the treasures of Naples, the masterpieces of the Amalfi Coast and the natural wonders of Cilento. Thanks to the immeasurable beauties inside, the Royal Palace of Caserta is considered one of the most stunning royal residences in the world:

  • Royal Palace
  • Royal Park
  • The English Garden
  • The Carolino Aqueduct

And now let's discover together the most incredible secrets of the Royal Palace of Caserta!

Royal Palace

What we still admire nowadays is the result of the architectural genius Luigi Vanvitelli who was entrusted with the task of designing a residence that testified to the greatness of the royal family.
To do this he had to face the problem of organizing immense spaces, without the possibility of having any comparison with the buildings of the time. Vanvitelli, considering the needs of the king and the royal family, designed an innovative structure distributed over several floors, accessible via numerous stairs, both horizontally and vertically.
All aspects align in contrast to the structure of the external façade which appears linear and inconspicuous. The visitor is therefore confused at the sight of the two environments and remains, even today, surprised by the unpredictable shapes.
Once through the imposing entrance portal, a clever architectural device directs the viewer's eyes into a perspective telescope that ends in the Royal Park. But this is just a small taste of what will come next because Vanvitelli's majestic Grand Staircase brings the visitor's attention back to the immense architectural structure, taking him towards the Royal Apartments.
Going up the Grand Staircase, the visitor will find himself in front of three sculptures, two of them represent Merit and Truth, the qualities required of the sovereign to govern successfully. In the center is represented the Royal Majesty, who is, Charles of Bourbon himself, solemnly wrapped in drapery and depicted with the royal crown firmly on his head and a scepter with one open eye with which he dominates and controls the entire Kingdom. Each room is a triumph of gold and stucco, sealed by the presence of precious busts of sovereigns of the Kingdom and graceful depictions of divinities.
Visiting the Royal Palace of Caserta is like experiencing firsthand the 18th century, which here finds its peak of expression in Italy.

Royal Park

Theatricality, illusion, awe and enchantment of the senses. These are the elements of the baroque garden, designed by Luigi Vanvitelli and completed by his son Carlo.
Built according to the wishes of the king and his successor Ferdinand IV, the project is the perfect synthesis of the Italian Renaissance model and the innovations introduced at Versailles by French architects.
The long central axis contributes to the formation of the so-called "telescope effect" giving the idea, immediately after crossing the main entrance, of a connection between the Palace and nearby Naples, united instead by an architectural virtuosity.
With the creation of the Park, the young king realized his dream of a structure that could develop in harmony with the surrounding environment. We would say today it was a sustainable project, since the aqueduct supplied not only the Royal Palace of Caserta, but also other centers scattered along the water route. In fact, before arriving at the Park, some branches of the aqueduct reached other inhabited centers in the area, while others, such as the San Benedetto Branch, were used to strengthen the water network of Naples.
On the sides of the Park there are other spaces, immense gardens, wild glimpses embellished with refined fragments of art to form a verdant maze as in the case of the English Garden.

The English Garden

The English Garden was built at the behest of Queen Maria Carolina and completes the landscape system of the Royal Palace of Caserta.
Carlo Vanvitelli created a garden with an English refined Romantic taste and therefore dominated by wild elements, ruins and neoclassical statues. The taste found in the gardens of the European aristocracy is influenced by the recent discoveries of Pompeii and Herculaneum, which contribute to the creation of an environment with a strong dreamlike charge. This element is clearly visible in the stylistic choice of the goddess Venus, whose sinuous figure is portrayed as she emerges from the waters protected, all around, by ferns and maidenhair ferns. The visitors feel like they are observing the goddess in a rare intimate moment and, so as not to bother, they continue their journey.

The Carolino Aqueduct

Water is the real highlight of the landscape of the Royal Palace of Caserta, not only for the effects that surprise the observer, today as then, but for the stylistic refinement of the Carolino Aqueduct. It is a work of high engineering which is articulated through a system of tanks at the height of the waterfall.
King Charles' project was much broader, and was made possible by the research of Luigi Vanvitelli who, not finding the well-known Roman aqueduct in the area, had to shift his attention to the lands of the Duke of Airola where he finally found a source of enough water to create a structure that supplied the Royal Palace of Caserta and the entire surrounding area.

What to do at the Royal Palace of Caserta - the Slow Active Tours proposal

The Royal Palace of Caserta is a place where art, science and panorama find a perfect balance. Each element is enhanced by the architectural liveliness of the structure which makes it, as a whole, a unique place to visit by letting your instincts guide you.
Here is a summary of our individual tour proposals in Campania region:

So what are you waiting for? Get your things together and off you go!