The unknown hunting residences of the Bourbons: hidden royal sites

by Maria Carmela Cato

In addition to the best known Bourbon residences, such as the San Leucio viewpoint, Carditello, the Casina del Bosco di San Silvestro and the Casino del Fusaro, there are others less famous, but no less important and which today have unfortunately become ruins.

The innate passion for hunting on the part of the kings of the Bourbon house favored more than all the province of Land of Work, which became the favorite area for the construction of some Bourbon royal residences used as a base for hunting trips, both because in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries the territory was very rich in flora and fauna, and because of its proximity to Naples.

Bourbon royal sites - Ferdinand IV of Bourbon hunting the boar - oil on canvas by Francesco Celebrano (Naples, San Martino Museum) - Photo taken from the book "AA. VV., At the court of Vanvitelli: the Bourbons and the arts at the Royal Palace of Caserta, Mondadori Electra, Verona, 2009 "
Bourbon royal sites - Ferdinand IV of Bourbon hunting the boar - oil on canvas by Francesco Celebrano (Naples, San Martino Museum) - Photo taken from the book “AA. VV., At the court of Vanvitelli: the Bourbons and the arts at the Royal Palace of Caserta, Mondadori Electra, Verona, 2009 "
Bourbon royal sites - Ferdinand IV of Bourbon after the boar hunt, oil on canvas by Pietro Fabris (Caserta, Royal Palace) - Photo taken from the book "AA. VV., At the court of Vanvitelli: the Bourbons and the arts at the Royal Palace of Caserta, Mondadori Electra, Verona, 2009 "
One of the residences of Ferdinand IV of Bourbon after the boar hunt, oil on canvas by Pietro Fabris (Caserta, Palazzo Reale) - Photo taken from the book “AA. VV., At the court of Vanvitelli: the Bourbons and the arts at the Royal Palace of Caserta, Mondadori Electra, Verona, 2009 "

Bourbon royal sites: Real Site of the Lanciolla

Among the little known residences we find the Real Site of the Lanciolla, located in the surroundings of Maddaloni, on a plain that followed the route of the Regi Lagni, a vast network of irrigation canals built in the viceregal period to avoid the floods of the Clanio. The site was one of Ferdinand IV's absolute favorites for hunting, so much so that it was soon nicknamed “il Fusaro di Maddaloni”.

In the Bourbon era, it was surrounded by water and must have looked a lot like the Casina Vanvitelliana of Bacoli. The name "Throw it”Comes from the name of tosses, particular boats that were used to navigate in the watersheds and were used to reach the little house.

The central building was used by the sovereign as a bedroom, the rings that held the royal bed are still visible today, as it was suspended from the ground. Inside, there were two fireplaces for heating, a toilet, two dining rooms and the walls were plastered in Pompeian red.

The two side buildings, on the other hand, smaller in size, were probably used by the servants who accompanied the king during his hunting trips. The Royal Site was built in 1779 on the example of the neighbor Casina Calabricito, owned by the Counts of Acerra.

Bourbon royal sites - Lanciolla di Maddaloni - Photo taken from the book "Perillo, M., Cappuccio, R., The real dream of the Bourbons of Naples, guide to the Bourbon places of Campania, Paparo Editions, 2021"
Bourbon royal sites - Lanciolla di Maddaloni - Photo taken from the book “Perillo, M., Cappuccio, R., The real dream the Bourbons of Naples, guide to the Bourbon places of Campania, Paparo Editions, 2021 ″, virtual reconstruction by the Association for social promotion ArteMiDà

Unfortunately today it is in a state of total abandonment and its ruins are visible from the parking lot of a well-known Caserta shopping center. Over time, in this pleasant place, the royal coat of arms, the sun clock and the precious marble staircase have been looted.

Bourbon royal sites - reconstruction of Maddaloni's Lanciolla - Photo taken from the book "Perillo, M., Cappuccio, R., The real dream of the Bourbons of Naples, guide to Bourbon places in Campania, Paparo Editions, 2021"
Bourbon royal sites - reconstruction of Maddaloni's Lanciolla - Photo taken from the book “Perillo, M., Cappuccio, R., The real dream the Bourbons of Naples, guide to the Bourbon places of Campania, Paparo Editions, 2021 ″

The Real Estate of Falciano

In another area of the ancient province of Terra di Lavoro, towards Mondragone, at the foot of the Mount Massico, there is the testimony of one of the favorite residences of the sovereigns, the Real Estate of Falciano, located near the homonymous lake of volcanic origin. It was another favorite place for hunting, so loved by the Bourbons, who in these areas carried out an important reclamation work.

It was not only a verdant reserve for agriculture and livestock, but the Real Estate of Falciano also produced the good Faustian wine, typical of the area. Right at the foot of the Massico, already in Roman times, numerous villas were built in which the Falerno, much praised by Virgil, Horace, Catullus, Cicero and Martial, and exported throughout the Mediterranean.

One of the largest residences: the Calvi state property

Further north, in the Agro Caleno, is the Casino dell 'Ancient state property of Calvi. Owned by King Charles and King Ferdinand IV, this site was, after Carditello, the site more extensive from a territorial point of view. It was built by the architects Francesco Collecini and Giovanni Patturelli in 1779. The agricultural complex was almost 4 million square meters large.

On the first floor there are twelve rooms and two halls, while on the ground floor there are a chapel, a barn and two rooms, as well as an external large house and a small house. In front of the Casino, an elliptical square was intended for horse racing, just before a large wood. Among the illustrious guests who stayed there, we find the first court painter Hackert, the Duchess of Floridia, the Marquis of Villafranca, the Duke of Casoli, the Prince of Riccio and the Prince of Caramanico, Viceroy of Sicily.

With the fall of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, the municipalities of Calvi and Sparanise became they contended possession of the State Property. The dispute was resolved in the good-natured settlement of 1898 between the two municipalities and the Royal House of Savoy. To this day, even this ancient royal site is an abandoned structure, overrun with weeds and debris. A part of it, a few decades ago, was even demolished to allow the passage of a road.

 Bourbon royal sites - Calvi state property - Photo taken from the book "Perillo, M., Cappuccio, R., The real dream of the Bourbons of Naples, guide to the Bourbon places of Campania, Paparo Editions, 2021"
Bourbon Royal Sites - Calvi State Property - Photo taken from the book “Perillo, M., Cappuccio, R., The real dream the Bourbons of Naples, guide to the Bourbon places of Campania, Paparo Editions, 2021 ″

Bourbon Royal Sites: Royal Hunt of Caiazzo

Another of the renowned Bourbon royal sites of Terra di Lavoro is the Royal Hunt of Caiazzo, whose management was entrusted to the superintendent of Caserta. Inside it produced grains, grains, legumes, wine and oil and possessed a large pheasant which was also praised by the canon. Carlo Celano in his "News of the beauty, the ancient and the curious of the city of Naples".

For years it was a top-notch farm, in 1765 Antonio Pinzani, who directed the structure, counted 835 units of wild animals scattered in the three large woods included in the Reale Caccia, or Selva Nova, Selva Spinosa and Monte Grande.

The unknown hunting residences of the Bourbons: hidden royal sites
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Bourbon royal sites: Ciorlano

From Caiazzo, following the course of the Volturno, on the road that today leads to Molise, we find a village in the Upper Casertano called Ciorlano, which, in addition to owning a castle dating back to the year 1000, also owns one of the little-known royal Bourbon sites.

In 1738, one of the richest universities in the area was born in this village, for this reason the Duke of Laurenzana donated to King Charles the Torcino Estate which was the most beautiful part of the district. In 1786 this large hunting reserve was enlarged with the addition of other state-owned territories at the behest of Ferdinand IV, coming to include an area rich in oaks, Turkey oaks, poplars, elms, maples, pear and apple trees.

With the unification of Italy, the phenomenon of Brigandage and the mountains of Ciorlano became the refuge of many rebels loyal to the Bourbons.

Bourbon royal sites: the Royal Palace of Venafro

There Reale Caccia of Torcino and Mastrati is connected with a broad bridge to the town of Venafro, today in Molise but in the Bourbon period it was part of the province of Terra di Lavoro, where the court resided during the hunting season and in which in 1771 Ferdinando bought the large palace belonging to the family Cup.

The ancient house was transformed into a real royal palace, embellished with frescoes by Francesco Celebrano who painted there The Hunts, work unfortunately lost. The building is currently in a state of dilapidation and is close to definitive collapse after decades of abandonment and looting.

Bourbon royal sites - Royal Palace of Venafro - Photo taken from the book "Perillo, M., Cappuccio, R., The real dream of the Bourbons of Naples, guide to the Bourbon places of Campania, Paparo Editions, 2021"
Bourbon royal sites - Royal Palace of Venafro - Photo taken from the book “Perillo, M., Cappuccio, R., The real dream the Bourbons of Naples, guide to the Bourbon places of Campania, Paparo Editions, 2021 ″

Bibliography

Perillo, M., Cappuccio, R., The real dream the Bourbons of Naples, guide to the Bourbon places of Campania, Paparo Editions, 2021

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