Discover the Telescopic Gardens of Royal Palace of Caserta
One of the few great European gardens that are still intact, Caserta Palace Gardens is a must-visit Italian masterpiece. Get the Royal Palace of Caserta tickets to explore the palace along with the Royal Garden that was inspired by the parks of Versailles. The Garden combines natural woodland with well-groomed gardens and is home to hundreds of rare and exotic plants.
What are Caserta Palace Gardens?
While designing the Palace of Caserta, Luigi imagined the gardens as an extension of the palace, with the buildings and gardens telescoping into the distance. To achieve this effect, Vanvitelli created a series of long, straight vistas that ended in perspective views of the palace. He also used a series of mirrors and reflecting pools to further extend the sightlines. The gardens spread over 120 hectares and were completed in 1786, maintaining the status of one of the most beautiful gardens in Europe ever since.Book Royal Palace of Caserta Tickets
History of the Caserta Palace Gardens
Design of the Gardens
Designed by Luigi Vanvitelli, the works for Caserta Palace Gardens began in 1753 and combined the design of the Italian Renaissance Garden with a solution for the Versailles gardens. Luigi introduced the ‘Telescope Effect’ by designing a straight avenue that started from Naples and ended at the waterfall's top that was located at the end of the Garden of the Royal Palace of Caserta.
The current garden at the Royal Palace of Caserta is a reduced version of Luigi’s design. After Luigi passed away in 1773, work halted for almost 4 years. In 1777, his son Carlo presented the King with a reduced version of the original design because of economic difficulties at the time and the number of fountains in the second part of the Caserta Palace Gardens. However, Carlo made sure that his father’s vision was accomplished for the garden with the 3.3 km canal.
The Queen’s Rivalry
Queen Maria Carolina, the wife of King Ferdinand IV, was in competition with her sister Queen Marie Antoinette of France. She requested that an English Garden be built that obscured the beauty of Petit Trianon of Versailles. The construction began in 1786 and the Queen invested her personal fortunes to make sure that the English Garden was quite different from the Park at the Royal Palace of Caserta.
Caserta Palace Garden Highlights
The Parterre and the Old Woods
The Parterre is the wide clearing that you come across when you leave Reggia di Caserta's gallery. It follows the French Garden designs and you will find wide grasslands that resemble a grass carpet. The Old Woods, on the left of the Parterre, existed before the buildings and were kept to maintain the natural element of the garden. It was also the 'Secret Garden' used for entertainment and as a resting place for the court.
In the Caserta Palace Gardens, you will come across a long alley with artificial fountains and cascades that fill multiple basins along a canal. Each fountain is decorated with rich sculptures such as dolphins, Aeolus, Ceres, Venus, Adonis, and a lot more. The fountains were designed in a way that they appear to be much shorter than their actual length of 3 km, thanks to short waterfalls and large basins, creating an optical artifice.
The English Garden
Occupying an area of 24 hectares, The English Garden is the first example of an informal garden in Italy. The garden is home to rare and exotic plants that were imported from around the world. Apart from the plants, this garden also houses several lakes, temples, a greenhouse, an English mansion, a bee house, and many other beautiful statues and elements.
The Carolino Aqueduct
The Carolino Aqueduct, a 38km hydraulic engineering marvel, was built to supply water to the fountains, the Royal Palace of Caserta, the cities Caserta and Naples around the Palace, and all the farms in the area. The entire conduit is buried except for the bridge which is made up of several arches and turrets for improved stability and better maintenance.
The Complex of Saint Leucio Belvedere
Initiated by King Ferdinand IV, The Complex of Saint Leucio Belvedere is a huge village complex in the Royal Palace of Caserta. This complex comprises a functioning silk factory, a living silk museum, Former Royal Apartments and manicured gardens. It was also the birthplace of women’s rights at the request of Queen Maria Carolina.
San Silvestro’s Oasis
A 100 hectares estate bought by King Charles of Bourbon, San Silvestro's Oasis was once a place for hunting, hiking, and immersing oneself in nature. Today, the oasis is funded by the World Wide Fund for Nature where visitors can indulge in a lot of activities here such as night tours, learning about bats, seeing fireflies, nature trails, and more.