Caserta is on a fertile plain 30 km north of Naples, and was chosen by Charles III of Bourbon as the ideal secure site for the construction of his “Versailles” of the Kingdom of Naples. The royal palace, around which the town later developed, was begun in 1752 and completed in 1777. The enormous stone building has 1,200 rooms arranged around 4 courtyards. The royal apartments are open to the public, and the gardens behind the palace, with their beautiful fountains, are well worth a visit. Caserta can be visited from Rome whilst travelling south, or as a one-day excursion from the Naples area, combined with old Caserta, or San Leucio or S.A. in Formis.
Caserta is known as the "Versailles of Naples" because of the Royal Palace built here by the Bourbon King, Charles III, in the 18th century. The enchanting palace overlooking the huge square is one of the most sumptuous buildings of its kind in Italy. It has over 1,200 rooms and is full of paintings and rich decorations. The magnificent gardens are 3 km long and their crowning glory is a 75 metre high waterfall, which can be clearly seen from the palace. After the splendour of the Royal Palace, we make our way to Monte Cassino 30 km away (free time for lunch) and the famous Abbey, which was founded in AD 529 by St. Benedict of Norcia. During the second world war the Abbey was completely destroyed and has since been faithfully restored to its former glory.
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