Reggia di Caserta, or the Caserta Region, is a province in Campania in south western Italy. Mostly rural and on the flat Plain of Volturno beneath the Campanian Sub-apennine mountain range, this twenty square mile area is famed for its magnificent and breathtaking Versailles-like Palace of Caserta, home of the Bourbon Kings of Naples and Sicily in the 18th century. This supreme example of Baroque extravagance is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is a must see on any visit to the area for its stunning Honour Guard Staircase (one of thirty four staircases) and the gilded and frescoed Throne Room, as well as its theatre and library. The lush and verdant manicured gardens are two miles long and have stunning waterfalls, lakes and five intricately carved fountains, as well as an area set out as an English garden. Also part of the Heritage Site is San Leucio, which housed the Royal Silk Workshops.
The town of Caserta lies just twenty five miles north of Naples and has a population of only 80,000 inhabitants. Besides the Palace of Caserta, the Aqueduct of Vanvitelli is worth seeing. It is so named as it was designed and built in the 18th century by the architect Luigi Vanvitelli, who also designed the Palace. Two other historical buildings of interest are the Palazzo Vecchio which dates back to the 14th century; and the 19th century cathedral. A five minute drive from the town centre will take the tourist to medieval Casertavecchia, or Old Caserta, well worth visiting as one can leave the 21st century behind and revel in a place where time seems to have stood still for centuries. As Casertavecchia is located in the foothills of the Tifatini Mountains, the visitor has glorious panoramic views for miles around from any of its trattorias or pizzerias.
Reggia di Caserta has a variety of hotels, as well as numerous restaurants in and around the town. Two important industries in the modern era are glassmaking and the silk industry and lovely examples of these two ancient crafts are sold in the town’s shops, many of which are located in the heart of the town on Piazza Vanvitelli, which is named after Luigi Vanvitelli, Reggia’s most famous citizen. Also surrounding this piazza are a luxury four star hotel, a theatre, restaurants, and gelaterias and anything that happens at night, happens there. The outdoor market in Caserta sells a wide variety of goods and is where one can practice ones bargaining skills. It is open on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
Mostly rural, the verdant hills surrounding Caserta are a great place to relax and unwind and to take to the hills for long walks to enjoy the fresh country air. There are a number of agriturismo, or country lodgings, in the area. This great accommodation option is great for families, as they are comfortable and many have restaurants serving traditional food, swimming pools, gift shops, bike and horse riding and all modern conveniences.