Caserta Palace is the Versailles of Italy, but bigger, and it’s the ultimate in Baroque architecture. Read why it – and the grounds – are a must-see!
What is the Royal Palace of Caserta?
Jaw-dropping. Caserta Palace or Reggia di Caserta is the largest royal residence in the world, and if you are at all impressed by the pictures, it will blow your mind even more in person. The design was intended to be huge and feel huge – and the primary architect, Luigi Vanvitelli, nailed it.
Construction began in 1752 and carried on for 93 years! The royal family began living here in 1780, and with 1200 rooms there were more than a few uses for the royal family.
In the movies
Several movies were filmed at Caserta Palace, so of course, we went home and watched one – it was fun to see it in the film after having just been there. Popular movies include: Mission Impossible 3, Angels and Demons and Star Wars: Attack of the Clones.
Caserta Palace with KIDS
The Palace and the grounds are huge! Asking jetlagged children to do this much walking took some effort, but we don’t want our kids to determine if we go out and explore or not. They didn’t sleep well the night before and were having a tough time, so we did what we could to be a step ahead of any meltdown.
To that end, we tried to keep the kids engaged by focusing on their interests. They were fascinated by some of the statues, and we had a really enjoyable time exploring the palace while playing “I Spy.” Jeannie loves “Beauty and the Beast,” and when we went into the ballroom she curtsied to herself and began waltzing away. She was super excited when we found the library. We talked about what Belle would do with such an amazing selection of books.
Things that would have helped: having a carrier (still in our household goods shipment) and snacks! Luckily after touring the inside and before going out there was a cafeteria where we grabbed some lunch.
Caserta Palace Park and Gardens
Walking out the back and into the park, the scale of it all once again overwhelms you. I honestly wondered how we could possibly enjoy all of it in one day – but then we saw the horses and carriages! I was hesitant because it was €50 for a ride, but some people who just finished their ride assured us it was worth it, especially with kids.
We took the plunge. It was a great decision! Our driver took us through a forest that we didn’t even realize we could go see, and she serenaded us with Neapolitan folk songs and regaled us with interesting facts about the estate.
She also made it fun for the kids, whereas it would have been impossible to do walking. The long walks under the hot sun would have been too much for our kiddos!
All of the water flowing through the Parco is unnatural, and the 40 km of aqueducts that supply it are an engineering marvel. The crowning jewel is the Roman-style aqueduct, Acquedutto Carolina, that traverses the Valle di Maddaloni. It is over 500 m long and is beautiful to see, day or night!
Plan your trip:
How to get to Caserta Palace from Naples
Take the Flixbus or the train from Napoli directly to the station in front of Caserta. Check out Reggia di Caserta find more information.
This week, we attended a week-long orientation brief and the kids went to daycare for the first time! It was so hard for me to leave them, but the break during the day wise nice to get things done. The kids did pretty well at the beginning. They love Toy Story 3 and were excited to play with toys at daycare. By the end of the week, though, they were missing us and we were all ready for daycare to be over. Check out our first week adventures here.
Matt and I both passed our drivers license test and we even found and purchased a car. Thursday we received notification that we were allowed to live off base! Friday we spent the late afternoon looking at homes. Our realtor showed us 3 we really liked and I wondered how we would ever choose. Then, we saw number 4 and it won us over! Hopefully we will move in and settle soon so we can focus on living here and experiencing this incredible part of the world.