The largest royal residence in the world. This is the royal palace of Caserta. Created by Luigi Vanvitelli by order of Charles III of Bourbon, this work has been declared a Unesco World Heritage Site in 1997. Although I was already been at the royal palace of Caserta, I went back recently to visit the park again, so I will not speak about the interior of the royal palace (which worth a visit, so if you go to the royal palace of Caserta don’t miss it).
The park of the Royal Palace is a whole of fountains, waterfalls, water games that make it one of the most beautiful in the world. The park consists of an Italian garden and an English garden, connected by a long avenue, along which there are a number of beautiful fountains. If you enter from the main entrance you will find yourself immediately to the Fountain Margherita, at the beginning of the long avenue. If, however, you want to see only the park and you desire to jump the queue, you can enter from the secondary ingress, and you’ll find yourself in the Italian garden.
Here there are the “Vecchia Pescheria” and “Castellucia”. The first is an artificial lake, 270 meters long and 105 meters wide, with a small island in the middle, where they have made false sea battles with model ships on a smaller scale.
Castelluccia, instead, it is a kind of miniature fortress that was the center of fake land battles, which became home for outings.
Once out the Italian garden, you get to Fountain Margherita, surrounded by a circular flower bed and a series of statues.
From here you can see the “Pescheria”, a course of water long almost 500 meters that ends with the Fountain of the Three Dolphins, from whose mouth comes out the water that feeds the course of water.
Continuing there is the Fountain of Aeolus, in which is represented the God Aeolus, who urged by Juno arouses the fury of the winds against Aeneas and the Trojans.
In addition to the waterfall and statues, there are also a number of caves that enrich the hemicycle porch. The work in reality is unfinished, because they have been made 28 of 54 statues planned and lacks the sculptural group of Aeolus and Juno in a chariot pulled by peacocks, present in the original project.
Climbing the semi elliptical stairs, you can see the seven waterfalls that precede the Fountain Cecere.
This, adorned with dolphins, mermen and mermaids, rappresent Cecere that is supporting the medal of Trinacria.
After, walking alongside another pool, you come to the Fountain of Venus and Adonis.
Here, among the nymphs, dogs, children and angels, there is Venus that tries to dissuade Adonis from going out hunting to avoid that this can be killed by a wild boar.
At this point we come to the most majestic part of the park: the Great Falls and the pool of Diana and Actaeon. The Great Waterfall, 78 meters high, descends from Mount Briano and falls into the basin where are present two beautiful marble groups.
The first shows Diana with her maidens who try to protect her from the look of Actaeon, and the other shows Actaeon, which is turning into a deer and he is chased by his own dogs.
Maybe you can’t understand the connection of the two sculptural groups, so I will tell the story of Diana and Actaeon, which I think is a particular and very nice story: the young Actaeon, during a hunting trip, he went in a cave in which Diana and her companions were bathing. As soon as she noticed his presence, the goddess, angry for the outrage suffered, she sprinkled the water on the Actaeon’s face, transforming him it into a deer, preventing him from going to tell what he had seen. Escaping the hunter went to a basin where, watching himself in the mirror of water, he realized his new appearance. Meanwhile he was chased by his own dogs, that took him and tore him to pieces. I told you it was a really nice story, and I think well represented by these statues.
Theoretically I should now continue telling of the English garden, unfortunately I can not do that because this part of the park is closed to the public. Originally it was not even explained the reason behind this choice, only recently it was discovered that it was closed to prevent damage to the botanical heritage of the garden. However, saw the disappointment of the visitors, it is decided to allow the entrance to the garden only through guided tours with a maximum of 30 visitors at a time.
Overall one can not but be impressed by this spectacular park, but as often happens here in Italy, maintenance is not excellent and there are clear signs of lack of care, such as tall grass, dirty fountains, signs with poor indications and totally faded. In short, a very precious treasure that deserves much more attention.
Good light to everyone.