The Royal Palace of Caserta, the largest royal residence in the world

by Laura d'Avossa

It is the royal palace largest in the world by volume, it was defined the eighth wonder of the world and named a UNESCO heritage site in 1997: these are just some of the prides of Royal Palace of Caserta.

It all starts with Charles of Bourbon, the sovereign of Naples who in the 18th century wanted to build a residence that was at the height of the imposing Palace of Versailles. The project of the Royal Palace of Caserta was entrusted to Luigi Vanvitelli : the architect's plan had all the credentials to compete with the prestigious French building.

La Reggia di Caserta, la residenza reale più grande al mondo

The Throne Room, the heart of the Royal Palace of Caserta

The heart of the structure is the Throne room, the place where the sovereign welcomed his guests and took the most important political decisions for the Kingdom. It is a huge space: the room measures approx 40 meters long and 15 meters high. At the back of the room, the precious, albeit small, is exhibited throne on which the ruler sat. It is a jewel of the Neapolitan manufacture: it is built in carved and gilded wood and its armrests are in the shape of winged lions, a symbol of the power of the royal family, but not only. In the work there are many of symbolic references: the sirens, ancient symbol of the city of Naples and the cornucopias, symbol of abundance and wealth. The environment is rich in details: from the lilies, symbols of the Bourbons, to the initials of Ferdinand II and Maria Teresa and the high reliefs of all the kings of the Kingdom of Naples. The ceiling is extensively decorated, in the center of the precious vault you can see thefresco by Maldarelli. This painting recalls the Ceremony of the Laying of the first stone for the construction of the Palace, which took place on January 20, 1752, on the occasion of King Charles' birthday.

La Reggia di Caserta, la residenza reale più grande al mondo
La Reggia di Caserta, la residenza reale più grande al mondo
La Reggia di Caserta, la residenza reale più grande al mondo

The private apartments of Queen Maria Carolina

Queen Maria Carolina's private apartments are one of the most intimate areas of the palace. The rooms full of details reflect the eccentric personality of the client. There Hall of Mirrors it is among the most suggestive, so called because its walls covered in yellow satin are framed, precisely, by bands of mirrors. In the center of the rose window there is a detail chandelier with cherry tomatoes in gilded bronze, symbol and homage to Campania Felix. Among the particular artifacts that characterize these environments are the watches suspended in front of the windows, consisting of a gilded cage with a stuffed bird inside that chirped during the change of the hour. One can only imagine what atmosphere was breathed in these rooms in the 1700s, when the light of the candles was reflected in so many glows from the mirrors.

La Reggia di Caserta, la residenza reale più grande al mondo

An immense residence

The Royal Palace of Caserta is an immense residence that welcomed not only the royal family, but also servants and waiters, not to mention officials, advisers and soldiers who passed through these rooms every day. The Royal Palace of Caserta was a kind of small town continuously in turmoil. It was inhabited since 1780, but its construction was completed only in 1845, after more than 100 years from the beginning of the works. Its structure has 1200 rooms, 5 floors and over 1700 windows, a Campania jewel destined to become famous all over the world.

La Reggia di Caserta, la residenza reale più grande al mondo

Laura d'Avossa

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