The town of Caserta is situated about 25 kilometres north of Naples, in south-western Italy, well known for the Royal Palace.
There is one big attraction that brings the crowds to Caserta - the Palazzo Reale (Royal Palace, and also known as the Reggia di Caserta). Dating from the middle of the 18th century, it is the biggest palace in Italy and was built for the rulers of Naples at that time.
The palace at Caserta is a major Italian tourist attraction and features a mind-boggling number of grand rooms, monumental staircases and luxury apartments (more than 1200 rooms apparently, but who is ever going to to check!)
...imagine the Palace of Versailles transplanted to southern Italy and you won't be far wrong - indeed it was Versailles itself that inspired the design of the building.
It is hard to imagine why even the most royal of royals might think they needed quite such an excessive palace but I would like to have one of those staircases in my own house though...
The rooms are, as you would expect, richly decorated to 18th century royal tastes and hung with lots of paintings of the great and the good of the time.
The Royal Palace at Caserta is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The park around the Caserta Royal Palace is just as grandiose - more than three kilometres long and with a large number of separate gardens, water features, statuary ornaments, lakes etc. as well as a very highly regarded English style garden.
The garden avoids the ostentation of the house and might well be the highlight of your visit.
Note: main photo is the main hall and staircase of the Caserta Royal Palace, Italy
- There is an attractive 12th century cathedral and the ruins of an even older castle a few kilometres north at Caserta Vecchia
- The Roman ruins at Santa Maria Capua Vetere include an impressive amphitheatre