Commissioned by Charles VII of Naples, who requested its construction in 1751, Caserta Palace is a triumph of splendour. The five storeys of the imposing building are structured around four courtyards, and the most grandiose façade opens onto a huge park. Not one to watch his pennies, the king asked Luigi Vanvitelli, the architect who designed the building, to create a royal palace to rival all the rest in Europe, in particular Versailles. The end result, after 22 years of work, was 1,200 rooms, 34 staircases, theatres, and chapels, all luxuriously decorated. At the top of the main staircase, you can access the opulent Palatine Chapel and royal apartments, but the most exciting part of the visit is probably the park, whose fountains, cascades, and waterfalls stretch for almost two miles and are surrounded by lush green vegetation.
The basins between the Italian and English gardens in the Palais de Caserte park.© Antonio Gravante / 123RF
The Fountain of Aeolus is a monumental piece made of Carrare marble by numerous sculptors.© Ciro Amedeo Orabona / 123RF
Once part of the Bourbons de Naples royal family, the Palais de Caserte is an example of the Italian Baroque style© Vincenzo De Bernardo / 123RF
The grand staircase has 116 steps.© Temistocle Lucarelli / 123RF
The construction of the Palace of Caserta cost 6 million ducats and the labour of up to 3000 workers.© Gianluca Pisano /123RF