The much-awaited holiday season has a treasure trove hidden around the corner and waiting to be explored. The Royal Palace of Caserta or more famously known as the Reggia di Caserta is a former residence of the House of Bourbon and Two Sicillies who were the kings of Naples is located in southern Italy. It has many feathers added to its cap apart from being the largest palace which was constructed in Europe during the eighteenth century. The palace is even a UNESCO World Heritage Site as it was enlisted in 1997. The points of interest at the Royal Palace include the Grand Halls, The Palatine Chapel, and Royal Library. Reggia di Caserta is recounted as the ‘Swan Song’ of the Baroque form of architecture designed by Luigi Vanvitelli. It covers an area of forty-seven thousand square meters and an astounding floor space of 138,000 square meters which lies divided the five stories of the structure. There are around one thousand rooms along with two dozen state apartments with countless windows and to be precise around thirty-four staircases. Also at the palace is a library and even a theatre which is inspired by the Teatro San Carlo of Naples and resembles the Palace of Versailles in beauty and grandeur.
The Staircase of Honour
Along with the Grand Ballroom of the Royal Palace of Caserta the Staircase which was designed by Luigi Vanvitelli was emulated by designers and architects worldwide. It is a masterpiece of architecture and scenography( decor). As the visitors ascend the stairs they catch a glimpse of impressive marble lions with a great wall in the backdrop which has three big statues of Royal Majesty Truth and Merit. When you take a turn around you get to see the Staircase expanding into two parallel staircases with columns and arches which resemble a temple. The Staircase is 32m high and has a volume of 11,664 cubic meters which ends with a “fake dome “which is a class apart masterpiece of art and technique.
Halls of The Halberdiers
The Hall of the Halberdiers is referred to in the project of Vanvitelli as “rooms for sergeant, and another officer with the path of fire and other necessary comforts “.By 1799 it was known as the Hall of the Grooms. The fresco done by Domenico Mondo is placed right at the center of the vault which represents the Triumph of Bourbon arms. The walls of the room have Mondragone marble frames with windows that add to the brightness of the environment. It was completed in 1787 with eight busted positions on the doors by Tommaso Bucciano.
The Hall of Mars: Antechamber of the Barons and Officers
The Hall of Mars also known as the Sala di Marte was the Antechambers which was entitled to Barons of the Kingdom along with Senior Officers and Foreign intendants as Mars was the god of war of ancient Rome. This and Antecahmber of the Ambassadors were designed by Antonio de Simone. The iconography of the Hall of Mars has represented the value of the military with tools of fame and glory. Decorations of the hall are inspired by the episodes from the Iliad. The ceiling has a fresco done by Antonio Raffaele Calliani which stands out in the center.
The Palatine Library
The Royal Library of the Palace of Caserta is also known as the Palatine Library. The Palantine Library in present times occupies three chambers and nearly two antechambers along with part of the museum are located before the Elliptical Room. The total collection of books in 1803 was numbered 2946 works and 7201 volumes. Many of these books traveled with the Bourbons to Sicily at times of French reign and returned to Casterta with Restoration. The rooms in the Palatine Library are part of the tour of the Royal Palace and the library continued to grow till 1860. The library is the third distinctive place along with the theatre and the chapel. It was founded by Maria Carolina of Habsburg. The growth of the library depended on the Maria Carolina of Habsburg, Caroline Murat, and Ferdinand II. The rooms have neoclassical decorations which are relatable to the “Temple of the Muses “.The first and the third room still retain the authentic eighteenth-century mahogany shelves which are a fine example of the aesthetics and functions of the shelves.
The Palatine Chapel is another masterpiece besides the Grand Ballroom of the Royal Palace of Caserta. This is another creation by Luigi Vanvitelli which was inspired by the chapel of the Palace of Versailles. Luigi decorated the chapel in Renaissance, Mannerist, and Baroque designs. The Palatine Chapel is located near the entrance of the Royal Apartments and was inaugurated in 1784 on the auspicious day of Christmas.
Terrae Motus Collection
Another awesome beauty to enjoy after touring the Royal Library of the Palace of Caserta is the art gallery which was designed by the Neapolitan art gallerist Lucio Amelio. Amelio requested many artists to share their creations after an earthquake that hit Italy on 23rd November 1980. The collection is named Terrae Motus which stands for an earthquake in Latin and features pieces of art from contemporary artists of the time including Michelangelo Pistoletto, Joseph Beuys, and many more.
Royal Court Theatre
The theatre at the Royal Court was modeled after the Teatro di San Carlo in Naples. The Royal Court Theatre was among the first theatres which had a shape of a horseshoe. The royal monarch used the theatre for private showcasing of the Neapolitan Theatre Shows. Apart from paintings the Royal Palace of Caserta has a rich collection of porcelain, furnishings, drawings, and frescoes which are two hundred years old.
The Royal Floor in the Palace of Caserta is divided into four quarters where the floor on the southwest of the floor was called the Quarter for the King and is called XIX Century apartments today. The southeast part of the floor was designated for the crown Prince are known in present times as XVIII Century apartments and was the only section used by the family for more than fifty years.