Caserta Palace and Gardens is located about 25 miles from Naples, which made it easy for us to visit for the day. It was built in the 18th century to rival Versailles. While the palace has around 1200 rooms, it’s largely overlooked by tourists and travelers. The lack of crowds is nice as a visitor, but after visiting here, we can honestly say that this is should be on every traveler’s list!
Inside the Palace
The complex is an exceptional establishment, with an imposing palace and lush gardens. The magnificent marble staircase (which was used as a stand in for the Vatican in “Angels and Demons” and in the “Star Wars” Episodes I and II) led us up to the rooms of the palace. In the rooms, we found gorgeous pieces of art, ornate walls, original royal furniture, and frescoed ceilings.
Following our time inside the castle, we walked outside to the gardens. They are undeniably an impressive sight!
Stretching 2.5 miles from the palace are a series of cascades, fountains, and lifelike sculptures. Following that, you can find a wide canal that leads to the Grand Cascade. If you don’t want to walk, you can try one of the palace’s alternatives: horse-drawn carriages, bikes, and trolleys.
At just about 90 degrees with strong sun, we walked all of the gardens and back! During our walk, we passed by locals having picnics in the shade, families getting their history fix for the day, and runners taking advantage of the wide paths.
Where’s the Waterfall?
Unfortunately, the waterfalls were not too impressive, as they were lacking an essential component… water!
From afar the “waterfall” looked like a big dry hill. We were able to see tiny streams trickling down from the top, but nothing like we were expecting. Here is what we saw on our day:
And here is what they usually look like:
Oh well, can’t win them all!
After a stop for gelato and water, we went to the right of the main gardens, to see the botanical garden, or “The English Gardens.” Here, we happened upon a wonderful surprise: a small tranquil pond surrounded by an old cave like dwelling.
Exiting the English Gardens, we soon realized we had a daunting task ahead of us…
We could definitely see parallels between Caserta Palace and Gardens and Versailles and can see why the two palaces rivaled each other back in the day.
With its impressive grounds, it’s amazing that this treasure is just a short drive away from our home.