Caserta, Italy

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The Palace of Caserta listed as a UNESCO world heritage site. It was built by the Italian architect Luigi Vanvitelli in the 18th century as a Versailles-like residence for the Bourbon Kings of Naples and Sicily. Inside is 1200 rooms decorated in various styles.

After we enter the gate, we have a choice to go to the famous garden or to visit the inside of the palace.  We decided to go to the garden first since it was a nice day.

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Just imagine, this was where all the horse-driven carriages would enter.

As we go through this paved pathway, a 120 hectares garden is on the other side.  The garden was designed according to the natural landscapes as well as the practicality of daily living.  Due to its size, visitors have a choice of horse-driven carriage rides or bikes for a small fee. We even seen some horse back riders. 

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The promenade leading to the fountains and cascades stretches out approximately three kilometers.

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Water come into the first basin from the mouths of two dolphins and a creature of dolphin’s head with claws sculpture by Gaetano Solomone in 1776-1779 of

The first basin is 470 meters long, 27 meters wide and 3 meters deep.  Its 32,000 cubic meters of water served a duo purpose of providing water and at the same time supply the kitchen with plenty of fish.

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Water feed into this fountain from the base of sculptures by Gaetano Salomone. The center figure is Ceres, goddess of Agriculture and Fertility surrounded by cupids and nymphs presenting a medallion symbolizing the Triskelion of Sicily (Cape Peloro, Cape Pachina, Cape Lilibeo). The right and left statues represented the two rivers of Sicily. The other statues are of imposing Triton. The bronze crown of Ceres and other bronze decorative ornaments were removed during the French occupation for other uses.

 

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Fountain of Aeolus – God of Winds Fountain was not completed as the original design.

 

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Fountain of Venus and Adonis. The sculptures show Venus imploring Adonis not to go to the hunt that claimed his life.

The Fountain of Diana and Acteon.  At the center of the fountain is a large cascade of water of 82 meters high.  The water came from a man made cave at the top of the hill.

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Diana annoyed at Acteon for looking at her nudity

 

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Acteon transforming into a deer by Diana and killed by his own dogs

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                                                                                                    The park includes an English Garden.  It is a  botanic garden with a lot of precious and rare plants growing in the garden.  The English Garden started in 1785 at the request of Queen Maria Carolina of Austria, wife of King Ferdinando IV.  The Garden covers 24 hectares contains water ponds of water lilies, meadows, hills and canals are all man made. All trees and plants were brought from all over the world.  Most noted is the sculpture “Bath of Venus”.

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The reception area has a dominating statue of Hercules. Then led up to the Grand Staircase “Staircase of Honor”.

The construction of the Palace of Caserta (Reggia di Caserta) was started in 1752 by Charles VII of Naples, also Charles III of Spain.  Charles had to abdicate his position to become the King of Spain.  His successor and son, Ferdinand IV  became the King of Naples and Sicily continued with his plan.  The palace is the largest Baroque-style royal residence in the 18th-century model after the Palace of Versailles.

Overlooking the Grand Staircase are marble Statues of Merit, Royal Majesty, and Truth. Then the stairs parts up to the sides to enter the Chapel and the Royal apartments.
The fresco is of Temple of Apollo. The dome 42 meters above the Grand Staircase is fake. Fantastically decorated and masterfully constructed, to hide the musicians who play upon the King’s arrival as if the music from heaven greets the King.
Stairs leading up to the Chapel and the Royal Apartments. The columns and arches resemble the entrance of the temples.
The three out of eight represents the spirit of art by Tommaso Bucciano, in the first anti-chamber

The vault ceiling fresco shows off the weapons of Casa Borbone supported by the virtues, by Domenico Mondo in the first ante-chamber
Some toys for the Royal children.
Cradles of the Princes of Savoy
Telemachus saved by Minerva from Cupid’s dart by Franz Hill
Bourbon Nativity the Family’s great passion, and
whence the Neapolitan tradition of the Nativity originated.


**A side note: Caserta has very good oven-baked piazza that we devour on the train back to
Rome. Did not allow time to take pictures.
Hall of Spring designed by Carlos Vanvitelli for the living quarters of King Ferdinand and Queen Maria Carolina.

Thank you for your interest.

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