The Royal Palace of Caserta, Reggia di Caserta, is a marvelous place. It was begun in 1752 by Charles VII of Naples with his architect Luigi Vanvitelli. The Bourbon King wanted a new royal court that was protected from sea attacks. Modeled mostly after Versailles, but also the Royal Palace in Madrid and the Charlottenburg Palace in Berlin, Caserta reflects a mixture of Late Baroque and early Neoclassism on a large scale. Not all the rooms are open to the public but the ones that are clearly convey the palace’s splendor.
The park and English garden behind the palace are tremendous in size. When we finished touring the palace we headed towards the park. Looking at how far the fountains were from the palace we decided to rent bikes to make a quicker tour. Whoever came up with the idea of renting bicycles to tourists is brilliant. If I was wearing a period dress I could have been in a deleted scene from Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette.