The palace of Caserta is located in (where else?) the town of Caserta, north of Naples. It is not a well-known destination to foreigners. This is both unfortunate and fortunate, since on one hand it means that a huge number of people never get to see this wonder of art and architecture, and on the other hand it means that you frequently can explore this gem without hordes of people!
The palace was built by the Bourbon King Charles III. Construction was started in 1752 and proceeded in various fits and starts until 1847, when the throne room was finally completed. The palace was designed to be a rival of the famous palace of Versailles in France - and it certainly does that. It has an imposing and elegant visual impact as soon as you see it. That impact is soon exceeded when you start walking around inside the building. It is quite amazing in its diversity, beauty, elegance, and sheer size.
Jenn, Vicky, Alysha and I wandered through amazing hallways, up grand staircases, through countless rooms. We managed to visit only a fraction of the rooms in the palace (there are well over 1,000 rooms!). The walk through the immense and beautiful gardens ended up being kilometres and kilometres of walking. And still we didn't see all of it. Going to have to come back and visit this place more thoroughly, I think!
Anyway, enough said - here on this page
are but a teensy few of the pictures I took of the palace and its gardens.
if you want to see a whole lot more
of the pictures I took at the palace of Caserta!
We stayed at the palace right up until its closing time at 6pm. We then gave Vicky and Alysha a drive back to their hostel in Naples. An interesting drive to be sure, right into downtown Naples. This is not a place to be if you aren't willing to take a bit of forceful initiative while driving. My passengers seemed impressed at my handling of the 9-lane traffic merge at our downtown autostrada exit.
We had a nice seafood dinner with Alysha and Vicky at a quaint seaside restaurant, and then we said our goodbyes, exchanging e-mail address and promises of visiting each other when we got back to Canada. It was then time to head off back to Avellino and a welcoming bed - we'd had quite a long day!