In 1750 Charles de Bourbon (1716-1788) decided to erect the palace as the ideal centre of the New Kingdom of Naples, now autonomous and unfettered by the Spanish aegis. The choice of the place where it would have arisen the new administrative capital of the kingdom fell on the plain of land of work, in the site dominated by the sixteenth century Palazzo degli Acquaviva. The project for the imposing construction, destined to rival the other European royal residences, was entrusted, after alternating vicissitudes, to the architect Luigi Vanvitelli (1700-1773), son of the most important painter of views, Gaspar Van Wittel, already active in Rome Under Benedict XIV in the restoration of the cupola of St. Peter.
The Royal palace
The construction of the palace began with the laying of the first stone on January 20, 1752 and proceeded briskly until 1759, when Charles de Bourbon, who died the king of Spain, left the Kingdom of Naples to reach Madrid. After the departure of Charles the construction work of the new palace, as was called at the time the palace, suffered a considerable slowdown, so that the death of Luigi Vanvitelli, in 1773, they were still far from completed. Carlo Vanvitelli, son of Luigi and later other architects, who had trained at the Vanvitelli school, completed this grandiose royal residence in the following century. The Reggia di Caserta has a rectangular plant articulated on factory bodies overlooking four large inner courtyards and extends over an area of about 47,000 square meters for a height of 5 floors equal to 36 linear meters. An imposing portico (optical telescope) constitutes the ideal connection with the park and the waterfall, set at the peak of the prospective escape thus created.
Collection Terrae Motus
The Terrae motus collection, formed after the earthquake of 23 November 1980, which devastated Campania and Basilicata, was born on the initiative and foresight of the Neapolitan art dealer Lucio Amello (Naples, 1931/1994), Personality of international notoriety and friend of many Contemporary artists.
The Royal Park
The Royal Park, an integral part of the project presented by the architect Luigi Vanvitelli to the sovereigns, is inspired by the gardens of the great European residences of the time, merging the Italian tradition of the Renaissance garden with the solutions introduced by André le Nôtre to Versailles. The work, with the demarcation of the area and the planting of the first plants, began in 1753, simultaneously with those for the construction of the Caland Aqueduct, whose waters, from the slopes of Mount Taburno would have fed the fountains of the Royal gardens .
The formal garden, as it is now seen, is only partly the realization of what Luigi Vanvitelli had devised: At his death, in fact, in 1773, the aqueduct had been finished but no fountain had yet been realized. The works were completed by his son Carlo (1740-1821), who, while simplifying his father's project, was faithful to him, preserving the compositional rhythm of alternating fountains, water basins, meadows and waterfalls.
For those who leave the palace, the gardens are divided into two parts: the first is made up of vast parterres, separated by a central boulevard leading to the Fontana Margherita, flanked by groves of Holm-Oaks and hornbeam, arranged symmetrically to form a "Theatrical" green semicircular scene.
The English Garden
At the side of the Fontana di Diana, starting from 1785, at the behest of Maria Carolina, wife of Ferdinand IV, Carlo Vanvitelli and the English gardener John Andrew Graefer realized the first Italian landscape gardens.
On an area of 24 hectares were realized, in a short time, imposing works to give life to Hills, clearings, lakes and canals fed by the waters of the Caroler and enriched by new plants coming from every part of the world then known. Following the fashion that was spreading from England throughout Europe, numerous fabriques were built to stop and to the recreation of the royals but also to the orange trees and greenhouses destined to the shelter of the botanical specimens and to the study and reproduction of the plants.
The aqueduct, called Caroleo in honour of the king, a grandiose work of hydraulic engineering, is certainly one of the most important public works carried out by the Bourbons; "Emulates of the ancient Romans who, with wonderful works, in different places, to their liking, brought the water" (P. Collete).
Originated from the need to supply the big city that would have arisen around the palace and in order to increase the water supply of the city of Naples it had to serve also the water supply of the royal delights and the feeding of Fountains and the water games in them present.
Starting from 1752, in the "Tenimento" of AAA (BN), at the foot of the Taburno, at 254 meters above sea level, were identified several springs, all belonging to the Prince of the Hedgehog, who made a gift to the king. acquired the approval of the sovereign was passed to the operative phase dividing the work into three trunks: from the fizz to Mount Heather; From the latter to Mount Garza; From the boy to the palace. The duct, 1.20 meters wide, 1.30 and 38 km long, is almost entirely buried, except for the parts that pass on the bridges, and is marked by 67 towers, features square-plan constructions and pyramidal cover, intended for blowholes and accesses for The inspection. The work began in 1753, in the first two trunks, later in the third and completed in 1770 with a total expenditure of 622,424 ducats (a. Sancho 1826).
Oasis of San Silvestro
At the height of the village of Puccianiello, the Castable Aqueduct is introduced into the woods of S. Silvestro, held a hundred hectares, enlarged and rearranged to make it suitable for hunting, the cultivation of vineyards and olive trees, sheep breeding and Production of fine cheeses.
In the locality called Pario, between 1797 and 1801, a casino was built to offer refreshment to the king and his retinue during the hunting trips. The building, made under the direction of Francesco Collecini, architect of the Belvedere of San Leucio, develops according to a floor plan open to the valley. From the interior garden, still organized according to the Renaissance canons, a series of gardens on terraces, averaging the relationship between the building and the view of the plain bell dominated, in the distance, from the size of the palace. On an area of about eight hectares in front of the building was planted a large vineyard of a rectangular shape called San Silvestro.
Currently the forest of San Silvestro is in delivery to the Superintendence BAPSAE of Caserta and Benevento and since February 1993, which has become an oasis of the WWF, is managed by the section of Caserta of WWF, through special convention. In 2000 the OASIS was included in the S.I.C. (Sites of community importance). From 1994 is open to the public, which can visit it, for a fee, assisted by WWF guides.
Museum visits and reservations
Tel./ph. 0823-448084 0823-277580
Headquarters-Royal palace-Viale Douhet, 2/A-81100 Caserta
Switchboard Office 0823-277111
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