Sorrento 10:07 AM
The Royal Palace of Caserta (Italian: Reggia di Caserta) is a former royal residence in Caserta, constructed for the Bourbon Kings of Naples.
It was the largest palace and one of the largest buildings erected inthe entirety of Europe during the 18th century. In 1997, the Palace was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, described in its nomination as "the swan song of the spectacular art of the Baroque, from which it adopted all the features needed to create the illusions of multidirectional space".
The garden, a typical example of the baroque extension of formal vistas, stretches for 120 hectacres, partly on hilly terrain. It is inspired by the park of Versailles, but it is commonly regarded as superior in beauty. The park starts from the back façade of the palace, flanking a long alley with artificial fountains and cascades. There is also a botanical garden, called "The English Garden".
The fountains and cascades, each filling a vasca ("basin"), with architecture and hydraulics by Luigi Vanvitelli at intervals along a wide straight canal that runs to the horizon, rivalled those at Peterhof outside St. Petersburg. These include:
The Royal Palace of Caserta can be reached from Sorrento by train. Catch the Circumvesuviana train to Naples Centrale - Piazza Garibaldi (timetable here) and then, from Naples Centrale, take the Trenitalia train (timetable here) to Caserta.
The Palace is just outside the station in Caserta.