Palace of Caserta

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A true feat for Italian baroque architecture, the colossal royal Palace of Caserta (Reggia di Caserta) has been dubbed the Versailles of Italy.   It was constructed in the 18th century for the Bourbon kings of Naples.  A jaunt along its mosaic marble floors and under  its gold adorned ceilings will make you feel like royalty yourself.  If you aren’t intimidated by the size and luxury of the palace itself, try getting lost in the elaborate maze of gardens, sculptures and fountains in the palace’s backyard.

The town of Caserta was founded by the Lombards in the 8th century.   Beginning on top of an ancient Roman site, it continued to expand down the plains.  The construction of this grand Bourbon palace has assured that this otherwise sleepy town will never not be forgotten.

In 1996 the Palace of Caserta was named as an UNESCO World Heritage Site on account of the spectacular Baroque art.  It is also of interest that scenes from the films Mission Impossible III, Star Wars Episode 1, and Star Wars Episode 2 were filmed at this site.

Phone: 0823-448084

Hours: 8:30am-7:00pm.  Park: opens 8:30, last entrance 2:30pm.  Closed Tuesday.

Price: €7 palace, €3 park/garden

How to go: From hostel catch the R2 bus to train station Garibaldi.  Take the Circumvesuviana train to Caserta.  Castle is right outside of station.