View along the central garden canal promenade. In the background is the Royal Palace. Caserta. Campania. Italy

Caserta Italy, Home to one of Europe’s most dazzling Royal Palace and Gardens.

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The 18th century Royal Palace or Reggia di Caserta is Italy’s most magnificent Palace and one of Europe’s grandest Royal residences. Its immense park garden is one of the most dazzling and grandiose in Europe. The Palace complex was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997.

The Palace or Palazzo Reale was built at the behest of Charles III of Bourbon (who never ended up living there) and was intended to not only be the pride of the Bourbon monarchy , but to be so beautiful as to rival and even overshadow Versailles in France.

Designed by Luigi Vanvitelli, southern Italy’s greatest architect, the construction of the Palace began in 1752 and was completed in 1774. The lavish and vast Baroque Palace consists of five storeys, 43 staircases, 1,790 windows and 1,200 rooms all arranged around four courtyards.

The royal park, also designed to rival the gardens of Versailles, stretches for 3 kilometres across the park in a straight line from behind the Royal Palace. The immense avenue is flanked by hornbeam hedges and lined by narrow lawns and punctuated by stepped cascades, ponds, groups of statues and fountains with mythological themes and finally ending up at the base of the great cascade, a waterfall some 75 metres high which tumbles into the basin of Diana and Actaeon.

There is also a Botanical Garden known as the English Garden which is the first of its type on the European mainland and is in the naturalistic style similar to those created by the famous English Landscape architect Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown.

Caserta is located 40 km north of Naples in the Southern Italian region of Campania. I have made the trip numerous times via train from Rome. The station is opposite the Palace.

Further images from Caserta, Italy and the Mediterranean can be viewed on my image library website – Steven Sklifas Photography.

All images, text and content on this blog are copyright Steven Sklifas.

Front facade of the Royal Palace.Caserta. Campania. Italy.
Front facade of the Royal Palace.Caserta. Campania. Italy.

Above Image: View of the front façade of the sumptuous 18th century Palace of Caserta or Reggia di Caserta, built at the behest of Charles III of Bourbon and intended to be the pride of the Bourbon monarchy.

Central gallery. Royal Palace. Caserta. Campania. Italy.
Central gallery. Royal Palace. Caserta. Campania. Italy.

Above Image: View of the central gallery Royal Palace, a splendid three nave portico with a series of Bigliemi marble columns supporting strong arcades creating passageways to the four large courtyards. The gallery or portico is also known as the telescope, for the visual effect it has of the dazzling park that it leads to.

Staircase of Honour. Royal Palace. Caserta. Italy.
Staircase of Honour. Royal Palace. Caserta. Italy.

Above Image: Looking down the grand central flight of steps known as the Staircase of Honour at the Royal Palace, Reggia di Caserta, Italy. The staircase connects the ground and first floors and is made up of 116 steps created from blocks of pietra lumachella from Trapani Sicily. It divides into two parallel flights of steps at the half-landing guarded by two marble white lions. The entrance to the higher vestibule is at the end of the staircase.

Courtyard. Royal Palace. Caserta. Campania. Italy.
Courtyard. Royal Palace. Caserta. Campania. Italy.

Above Image: View of one of the four courtyards of the sumptuous 18th century Palace of Caserta or Reggia di Caserta.

Rear facade. Royal Palace. Caserta. Campania. Italy.
Rear facade. Royal Palace. Caserta. Campania. Italy.

Above Image: View of the rear façade of the Royal Palace or Reggia di Caserta. The Baroque Palace consists of five storeys, 43 staircases, 1,790 windows and 1,200 rooms all arranged around four courtyards.

Margherita fountain. Royal Palace.Caserta. Campania. Italy.
Margherita fountain. Royal Palace.Caserta. Campania. Italy.

Above Image:  View of the Margherita or Basket fountain at the end of the parterre with the rear of the Royal Palace of Caserta in the background. This fountain is the first of six fountains that adorn the central boulevard that stretches for 3 kilometres.

Central Boulevard. Royal Palace. Caserta. Italy
Central Boulevard. Royal Palace. Caserta. Italy

Above Image: View along the central boulevard that stretches for 3 kilometres from behind the Royal Palace, ending up at the base of the great cascade, a waterfall 75 metres high (way in the background).

Fountain of the Dolphins. Royal Palace. Caserta. Campania. Italy.
Fountain of the Dolphins. Royal Palace. Caserta. Campania. Italy.

Above Image: View of the Fountain of the Dolphins that feature along the central promenade. The spurting Dolphins fountain was created by Gaetano Salomone between 1776 and 1779.

Fountain of Aeolus. Royal Palace. Caserta. Campania. Italy
Fountain of Aeolus. Royal Palace. Caserta. Campania. Italy

Above Image:  View of the Fountain of Aeolus which consists of 29 zephyrs and wind gods, symbolically represented by winged statues spurting water from their mouths.  The fountain features along the central promenade.

Fountain of Aeolus. Royal Palace. Caserta. Campania. Italy.
Fountain of Aeolus. Royal Palace. Caserta. Campania. Italy.

Above Image: View of a winged sculpture that adorns the curving balustrade of the Fountain of Aeolus.

Fountain of Ceres. Royal Palace.Caserta. Campania. Italy.
Fountain of Ceres. Royal Palace.Caserta. Campania. Italy.

Above Image: View of the seven stepped cascades of the fountain of Ceres. The fountain features along the promenade that extends for 3 kilometres from the Royal Palace to the great waterfall some 75 metres high.

Fountain of Ceres. Royal Palace.Caserta. Campania. Italy.
Fountain of Ceres. Royal Palace.Caserta. Campania. Italy.

Above Image: View of the fountain of Ceres, containing statues of Ceres, Sea Nymphs, Triton’s, Dolphins playing the Buccina horn and Anapo and Simeto the river-gods. In the far background is the great waterfall, some 75 metres high.

Fountain of Venus and Adonis. Royal Palace. Caserta. Campania. Italy.
Fountain of Venus and Adonis. Royal Palace. Caserta. Campania. Italy.

Above Image: View of the little waterfalls or stepped cascades of the fountain of Venus and Adonis. In the background is the great cascade, a waterfall some 75 metres high which tumbles into the basin of Diana and Actaeon.

Fountain of Venus and Adonis. Royal Palace. Caserta. Campania. Italy.
Fountain of Venus and Adonis. Royal Palace.Caserta. Campania. Italy.

Above Image: View of the Fountain of Venus and Adonis. This fountain group of sculptures represents the kneeling goddess asking her lover to take care during the hunt as she fears for his safety, as the jealous god Mars has taken on the appearance of a wild boar with the aim of killing him. Cherubs and nymphs surround the figures standing on the travertine reef.

Fountain of Venus and Adonis. Royal Palace. Caserta. Campania. Italy.
Fountain of Venus and Adonis. Royal Palace. Caserta. Campania. Italy.

Above Image:  close-up view of the  View of the Fountain of Venus and Adonis.

Fountain of Venus and Adonis. Royal Palace. Caserta. Italy.
Fountain of Venus and Adonis. Royal Palace. Caserta. Italy.

Above Image: View of a Cherub from the rear of the Fountain of Venus and Adonis.  In the far background, 3 kilometers away is the Royal Palace.

Fountain of Diana and Actaeon. Royal Palace. Caserta. Campania. Italy.
Fountain of Diana and Actaeon. Royal Palace. Caserta. Campania. Italy.

Above Image: Full view of the impressive fountain of Diana and Actaeon in which the great cascade, a waterfall some 75 metres high plunges.  The fountain statue group consist of, the goddess Diana (on the right), the patron of chastity is bathing and is surrounded by nymphs. She takes offence when Actaeon the hunter (on the left) notices her and thus transforms him into a stag, he then defends himself against dogs that are tearing him apart.

Fountain of Diana and Actaeon. Royal Palace. Caserta. Campania. Italy.
Fountain of Diana and Actaeon. Royal Palace. Caserta. Campania. Italy.

Above Image:  Part view of the impressive fountain of Diana and Actaeon in which the great cascade, a waterfall some 75 metres high plunges.  The sculpture group in picture is of the goddess Diana, the patron of chastity who is bathing and is surrounded by nymphs.

English Garden Classical Temple. Royal Palace. Caserta. Italy.
English Garden Classical Temple. Royal Palace. Caserta. Italy.

Above Image: View of the mock classical temple at the large lake within the Botanical Garden or English Garden. The temple has granite columns and dolomites, from the ruins of Pompeii. The Garden is an early naturalistic example of an “English Garden” on the European.

Cryptoporticus. English Garden. Royal Palace. Caserta. Italy.
Cryptoporticus. English Garden. Royal Palace. Caserta. Italy.

Above Image: View of statues inside the fake cryptoporticus found at the English Garden. A number of the classical statues are from Pompeii and from the Farnese collection.

Botanical path at the English Garden. Royal Palace. Caserta. Italy.
Botanical path at the English Garden. Royal Palace. Caserta. Italy.

Above Image: Leafy pathway that lines the cryptoporticus and circles the Baths of Venus within the English Garden at the Royal Palace Park.

Baths of Venus. English Garden. Royal Palace. Caserta. Italy.
Baths of Venus. English Garden. Royal Palace. Caserta. Italy.

Above Image: Naked statue of the goddess Venus bathing at the English Garden, Royal Palace or Reggia di Caserta, Italy. The statue was created by the Sculptor Tommaso Solari around 1762.

Baths of Venus. English Garden. Royal Palace. Caserta. Italy.
Baths of Venus. English Garden. Royal Palace. Caserta. Italy.

Above Image: Naked statue of the goddess Venus bathing at the English Garden. The statue was created by the Sculptor Tommaso Solari around 1762.

All images, text and content on this blog are copyright Steven Sklifas.

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