Posted by: kimberlysullivan | August 15, 2017

Bigger than Versailles – the Royal palace at Caserta

Regia di Caserta, ItalyI’ve already written about exploring the amazing gardens of the Reggia di Caserta.

It had been years I’d been ‘ meaning to visit’, so I was thrilled to finally make it to this royal palace in Italy’s southern Campagna region.

Regia di Caserta, ItalyAfter the impressive gardens – DO do do dedicate enough time for a proper wander in them – the palace is a bit of a let-down. Yes, it was built to be larger than Versailles, but this was at the end of the 18th century, so by Italian standards, it’s almost modern.

The Royal Palace of Caserta (Reggia di Caserta) was built for the Bourbon kings of Naples. Construction began in 1752.

Reggia di Caserta, ItalyCharles VII of Naples worked alongside his architect Luigi Vanvitelli, using Versailles as their model. Vanvitelli died in 1773 and the project was taken over by his son, Carlo. It was only fully completed in 1845, even if the royal family began living there in 1780.

The palace has a remarkable five floors,  1,200 rooms and 1 ,742 windows. Oh, lucky servants…

There is also a spectacular library and a theatre modeled after San Carlo in Naples (see my earlier post about that famous opera house).

Reggia di Caserta, ItalyNot surprisingly, with 235,000 square meters,  it is the largest royal residence in the world. Caserta boats 40 monumental rooms, compared to Versailles’ 22.

During World War II, the palace would become the site of the Allied Force Headquarters, and in April 1945, it was here that the Germans signed their unconditional surrender of forces in Italy.

Don’t miss the spectacular Reggia di Caserta – and, in particular, its stunning gardens – when you next visit this region.

And when you return home, be thankful you do not have 1,742 windows to clean …

Reggia di Caserta, Italy

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