26 February 2016

Only a 30 minutes ride from Villa Folías, in the heart of Caserta, one of the most beautiful Palaces in the world: “Reggia di Caserta”. The brainchild of Carlo di Borbone, King of Naples, struck by the beauty of the Caserta landscape. He wanted a palace to represent his goverment and his kingdom. The structure was meant to rival the Palace of Versailles. The architect Luigi Vanvitelli was asked by the King to design the fantastic Palace and the park along with the organization of the urban area around it. A large aqueduct (Aqueduct Carolino) was required to bring water for the prodigious display and crossed the nearby complex of San Leucio.  The palace was intended to display the power and grandeur of an absolute Bourbon Monarchy but also to be efficient and rational.  The structure  was finished in 1845.  A grandiose complex of 1.200 rooms, covering an area of 47.000 sq. meters, with 1.742 windows, 1.026 chimneys and 34 staircases.  The palace has a rectangular perimeter inside which two blocks intersect in the form of a cross forming four vast courtyards of more than 3.800 sq. meters each. The structure is surrounded by a park of 120 hectares on a partly hilly terrain.  The Italian garden flanks a long alley with artificial fountains and the famous Great Cascade.  The English garden was modelled on the ideas of Capability Brown with densely wooded areas.  The  Reggia di Caserta is considered the biggest royal residence in the world, even larger than Versailles, and is visited by more than 500.000 tourists yearly. As an architectural show case, many events are hosted on its premises.  A historic and cultural site along with the fountains and the park, the Reggia also has an art gallery with sculptures and paintings.  A  site that can be reached by those  who want to fully enjoy the history of Campania and Italy, where  nature and Baroque art meld into a great marvel.