Caserta is one of the most interesting cities in Campania from a historical-cultural point of view, known above all for its monuments and main places of interest: among the most famous, certainly in the first place is the Bourbon Palace (commonly known as the Palace of Caserta) which, together with the Royal Belvedere of San Leucio and the Carolino Aqueduct, is now part of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Nicknamed the Versailles of Italy, due to its resemblance to the French Royal Palace for pomp and grandeur, the Royal Palace of Caserta is in effect a royal palace and it was built in the mid-1700s by the Bourbon family, at the time of the sovereigns of the Kingdom of Naples. Given the largest royal residence in the world by volume, the palace is also surrounded by an immense park with a beautiful Italian garden and an English one, in which there is even a large pool (Peschiera grande) used for simulations of the naval battles of the then child Ferdinand IV.
Here are all the info on how to get to the Palace, how to move inside / outside to not miss the main attractions and useful information about timetables and costs.
- Where is it and how to get there from Naples
- Hours and prices
- Tours, guided tours and tickets online
- What to see and how to visit the Royal Palace of Caserta
- Useful tips for visiting the attraction
- Historical notes, curiosities and practical info: what to know in brief
- User questions and comments
Where is it and how to get there from Naples
- On foot: arriving at the Palace only on foot is not feasible unless you first take a train with a stop near the palace. The Palace is in fact located a few kilometers outside the city and getting there by public transport is the only possible option: from the train station, for example, you are only a 5-minute walk away from the complex. Rail connections are guaranteed with the major cities of northern and southern Italy, directly or through Rome-Naples with Eurostar, regional or express - Get directions
- By bus: the connections are regular and punctual with departure from Naples Port, Naples Airport or Naples Station. The palace is about 34 km from Naples (35/45 minutes by public transport)
- By car: having your own means of transport, it is quite simple to get to the Royal Palace: it is 248 km from Rome (2 hours), 64 km from Salerno (54 minutes) and, as already written, 34 km from Naples (34 minutes) - Get directions
Hours and prices
- the historic apartments are open from 8:30 am to 19:30 pm, although the ticket offices close at 18:45 pm and the last entry is allowed at 19:00 pm. As for the gardens, however, the entrance / closing times vary from month to month (we recommend consulting the official website). Tuesday is the ordinary closing day.
- Best time to avoid queues: it is best to arrive at the Palace early in the morning to queue as short as possible, especially in the months of good weather and on weekends / holidays. At any other time of the day, you may have to wait a bit before starting your visit: you could buy priority tickets (from € 17,00) to simplify everything.
- the full ticket costs € 12,00 (including the palace and gardens), or € 9,00 (palace only).
- Reductions: the reduced ticket for minors, students, the elderly and the disabled costs € 6,00 (including the palace and gardens), or € 4,50 (palace only). Keep in mind that in the period from 7 December to 6 January, the ticket costs € 3,00 for everyone; on the first Sunday of each month, the full ticket costs € 5,00, the reduced ticket € 2,50 and minors under 18 years enter for free.
Tours, guided tours and tickets online
What to see and how to visit the Royal Palace of Caserta
The Royal Palace of Caserta is a truly monumental complex, consisting of the actual palace and the surrounding park, all based on the design of Luigi Vanvitelli, who wanted to create a structure that would become in effect the nucleus of the new capital of the Kingdom.
The Palace has a rectangular plan with four internal courtyards, a long porch which acts as a link between the park and the waterfall, lo Staircase of Honor (scenographic masterpiece, which inspired them in the construction of all the staircases of the successive royal residences) which unites the lower floor with the upper one and leads to the real apartments.
Finally, in front of the Scalone is the Palatine Chapel, while on the western side of the building is the Court Theater. Inside the Palace, the Picture Gallery owns paintings ranging from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century, commissioned over the years by local rulers or received from the territory and divided by themes (oriental subjects, historical episodes, allegories, still lifes, portraits, etc.). In addition to these, from the Irpinia earthquake, which occurred in the 80s, a contemporary exhibition is held in some rooms of the building that collects works by all the greatest artists of those years and which takes the name of Terrae motus.
If the Palace is an example of splendor and beauty already inside, it is however outside that one perceives even more the sense of power and grandeur that the Bourbons tried to convey, with magnificent gardens (Italian and English) that extend as far as the eye can see, the avenue with "telescope effect" and various fountains and pools that adorn the entire park. During the days of good weather it is quite pleasant to spend a few hours, exploring the gardens far and wide, in search of all the treasures that are hidden there: so don't forget to wear comfortable shoes and bring something that can protect you from the Sun.
Useful tips for visiting the attraction
- Get up early: the ideal would be to reach the entrance by 9:00 am, especially on holidays or weekends;
- Buy the priority ticket: if you do not want to risk queuing and prefer to be sure that you already have the ticket in hand when you arrive at the Palace, you can book a priority ticket online so as not to have problems of any kind and enjoy the visit in total tranquility. Buy online: Priority ticket for the Royal Palace of Caserta
- Choose the guided tour: if you are interested in discovering all the secrets of the Palace and the historical events in which it took part, you can always decide to participate in a guided tour (from € 35,00). Alternatively, the Royal Palace has very comfortable audio guides in Italian, French, English and German, which can be used at a cost of approximately € 5,00.
- Minimum time: we advise you to consider a minimum of 3-4 hours for the visit. They may seem like a lot at first but the complex is really very extensive and if you also consider the vastness of the park the hours at your disposal will not be nearly enough.
- Watch out for restrictions: those visiting the historic apartments cannot bring strollers, umbrellas, backpacks, bags and other large objects with them. At the entrance, you can find a secure cloakroom where you can leave all your personal items.
Historical notes, curiosities and practical info: what to know in brief
It is said that the Royal Palace of Caserta anticipated not only the neoclassical architectural style, but also contemporary architecture, especially in the concept of form and function. And to think that for the realization of the project the King of Naples Charles of Bourbon, entered competing with the French sovereigns and determined to build a palace capable of rivaling that of Versailles, he initially turned to Nicola Salvi (author of the Trevi Fountain) and only later a Luigi Vanvitelli, due to a refusal by Salvi for health reasons.
At that time, however, Vanvitelli was already engaged in the restoration work of the Basilica of Loreto on behalf of the Papal State, so much so that Charles of Bourbon was forced to negotiate directly with the Pope. The works for the construction of the Palace however began in 1752, just on the king's birthday, with a solemn ceremony during which the first stone was laid.
Today, the silk industry and the Belvedere di San Leucio, where the first form of Italian socialism was born, andWWF Oasis of San Silvestro, once the king's hunting forest. Thanks to its beauty and rather scenic environments, the Palace has often been used as a film set for many Italian and foreign films, including Angels and Demons, Star Wars (Attack of the Clones and The Phantom Menace), Mission Impossible III, etc.
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