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Caserta Royal Palace: The Park

While Caserta Royal Palace can be said to be resplendent with it’s ornate 1200 rooms, 1790 windows and 34 staircases, it is the Park that encompasses a stretch of 2.5 miles of gardens, fountains and statues that draws a greater presence of both tourists and native Italians.

The Park much like the palace itself was inspired by the Park at the Palace of Versailles.  Caserta Royal Palace: The Park starts from the back side of the Palace all the way to the grotto that crowns the entrance of the aqueduct that pours hundreds of gallons of water into the system of waterfalls and fountains that line the promenade of the Park.

Caserta Royal Palace: The Park
Caserta Royal Palace: The Park

The park and the various gardens were planned and designed by Luigi Vanvitelli. However the entire park including the adjacent English Garden was completed in 1780 by his son Carlo Vanvitelli.

The stretch of these fabulous fountains and pools starts just as soon as you leave the back side of the palace. Perhaps because of the sheer distance from the back of the Caserta Royal Palace all the way to the Great Fountain of Diana & Actaeon, as a visitor you have the option of taking a small electric bus or a horse drawn carriage instead of walking the full 2.5 miles.

I chose to walk. Of course I had to stop along the way to photograph all the wonderful sights. From the central promenade there are paths that lead off to other pleasant but more woodland areas of the Royal Park.

The first fountain that I came upon is the smallish Margheritta Fountain.

Caserta Royal Palace: The Park
Margheritta Fountain

According to travel guides this fountain is in a centralized location as paths that lead from here into the rest of the park return to this spot. So if you happen to find the English gardens that are adjacent to the final fountain at the bottom of the cascade you can be assured that you will end up at this smaller fountain upon your return.

Next in the series along the promenade is the Bridge of Ercole. When I was here in March I noted that there is a modern road that runs under this bridge. We surmised that since the construction of these gardens that the towns have encroached on the gardens and Caserta Royal Palace. But that evidently is not the case. The road actually leads to the town of Ercole.

Travelswithjim-3 021
Stauray Lining the roads
Royal Park Statues
Creative Statues

All along the pathways there are either manicured hornbeam hedges or creative statuary that were evidently recreated just for use here at Caserta Royal Palace: The Park.

The next thing to come along on this 2.5 mile hike is the fish pond. It is a structure that is a mere 1558 feet long by 89.4 feet wide. Since the parks completion the pond has regularly been stocked with fish. It makes a lot of sense that they used the fish pond as a park attraction but also as a source of fresh fish that were used in the Royal Kitchens.

Fish Pond at Caserta Royal Palace
Fish feeding on bread at the Palace

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fountain of the Dolphins-Caserta Royal Palace
Three Dolphins

The Dolphin Fountain is next along the promenade. Here, as you can see in the picture there are three monstrous dolphins gushing water out into the basin below them.

 

Caserta Royal Palace: The Park
The Dolphins Fountain

 

 

 

 

 

 

As we continue our trek up the path we come to the fountain of Aeolus. The fountain has a basin that is 138.9 feet long by 113.7 feet wide. The water that feeds this fountain is later recirculated and transported via an underground system to fuel the gushing fountain of Dolphins.

Fountain of Aeolus
Fountain of Aeolus
Fountain of Aeolus statues
Fountain of Aeolus statues
Aeolus Fountain with statues
Caserta Royal Palace Aeolus Fountain

While I didn’t count them when I was there, this fountain has 29 statues of zephyrs and winds from Greek Mythology.

 

 

Aeolus 29 Statues
Royal Palace Fountain Statues
Caserta Royal Palace:The Park
Caserta Aeolus Fountain

Evidently this fountain was supposed to have had 54 statues. But at some point the original plans for the fountains  were downgraded due to diminished funds for the project.

 

The Fountain of Ceres , next in line has a large pond measuring 1055 feet by 57.41 feet in which seven small waterfalls are placed.

The Fountain of Ceres
The Fountain of Ceres

The fountain is replete with tritons, nereids and more dolphins. Of course at the center of the fountain is Ceres flanked by dragons and nymphs.

And just a little bit more up the hill is The Fountain of Venus.

Caserta Royal Palace - Fountain of Venus
Caserta Royal Palace - Fountain of Venus

This one has twelve smaller waterfalls in front of it. The fountain depicts Venus as the central character attempting to convince Adonis not to go on the hunt so as to protect him from being killed.

Venus Convincing Adonis not to Hunt
Caserta Fountain of Venus

At the top of the Promenade  is the largest of the fountains. The Fountain of Diana and Actaeon sits at the bottom of the waterfall from which the waters out of the Carolina Aqueduct flow.

Fountain of Diana & Actaeon
Fountain of Diana & Actaeon

The fountain is a depiction of Diana and Actaeon. As the story goes Actaeon dared to spy on Diana as she bathed. For the error of his ways he was turned into a stag and then attacked by hounds that ripped him to shreds.

The Source of the Fountain Waters
The Source of the Fountain Waters

Flanking the final fountain are two roads one on either side of the waterfall path. The waterfall was  constructed to cascade down from the grotto at the top. The water comes from a specially built aqueduct which was built just to feed all the fountains and ponds at Caserta Royal Palace: The Park.

The Aqueduct is thirty-one miles long and travels through five mountains. When it was first turned on it took four days for all the fountains to be filled and operational.

The Road to the Grotto is Closed
Water bursting from the sides of the waterfall along the road

 

 

 

 

 

Precarious Road to the Grotto
Ths way to the Source

While the entrance to the roads is blocked and closed to the public some rather enterprising young kids have created another path.

So after following the path through the woods and up the precarious original  roads, all the while encountering waterfall walls that were braced to keep the water in the waterfall contained and not spreading any more than it already has, I made it to the top.

Kids at the top
Welcome Committee

Upon my arrival at the top I was greeted by some enterprising youth. They encouraged me to take this picture and then to cross through the water and over to where they were.

I chose a safer path.

 

Grotto at the top of the Park
Grotto at the top of the Park

This is the grotto at the top.

It is 200 feet above the last fountain.

The Park View from inside the Grotto
The Park View from inside the Grotto
Caserta Royal Palace: The Park
Caserta Royal Palace: The Park

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27 thoughts on “Caserta Royal Palace: The Park

  1. Marquita Herald

    These are amazing photographs Jim and having been to the  Palace of Versailles I can certainly see the resemblence. The Fountain of Venus is especially awesome – everytime I visit your blog I spend the rest of the day daydreaming about hitting the road!

    1. Anonymous

      Well I’m delighted you’re having a fine time visiting my blog and my
      adventures. In July I am going to SanFrancisco and then later this summer I
      will be traveling to Greece and then to Scotland. So I will have a plethora
      of photos and experiences to share.

  2. Jenna Waites

    Wow, this is incredible!! I’ve never seen anything like it. Your photos are gorgeous and I love your descriptions. Where is this park?? I’m definitely putting it on the list of places to go!

    1. Anonymous

      The Park is behind the Royal Palace in Caserta, Italy. It was originally
      built as a sort of summer place so that the King could get away from it all
      in Naples Italy. It’s quite the summer house and gardens wouldn’t you say?

  3. Ben

    Wow
    The grounds look incredible and I am sure I would have walked through them as well instead of taking other transport.
    They do have some strange ideas about dolphins though.
    I will definitely return to your blog for more photo’s and possible destinations fro myself.
    Enjoy your trips and travel safely
    Ben

  4. VaNessa Duplessie

    Jim – I think I am going to very much enjoy visiting and reliving your travels with you. Your photography is beautiful and your recap was great. Now I’ve got the itch to go somewhere. My family loves to travel – even my young children. Our next trip is to British Columbia later this summer. I’ll have a recap of that to share when the time comes. I look forward to more beautiful words and photos. VaNessa

  5. Julieanne van Zyl

    WOW what a magnificent park Jim!   Imagine owning something like that, you would always have wonderful places to explore.  Children would have so many adventures living there!  

    Thanks so much for sharing the photos and your story about this wonderful park.  

    I look forward to your stories also, regards from Julieanne

  6. Dereck

    Jim!

    I love traveling to your blog and learning about interesting and wonderful places I have to be. It allows me to add more locations to my list of things to do… when i get there! :D 

    Personally, I love all the fountains and that picture of inside the grotto is break taking. Thanks for everything you do! 

    -D 

  7. Mandy Swift

    Hi Jim, you certainly took us on an extensive tour today. No stond left unturned as they say. Amazing pictures 🙂

  8. Kevin M.

    Awesome pictures Jim!

    My wife and I are planning on going to Italy for our 25th anniversary.  I am definitely going to have to visit this place!

    Kevin

  9. Jans Mendoza

    Wow! A UNESCO World Heritage! I want to be here. 🙂 Although just looking at the pictures makes me feel like I’m here too.  Cool blog Jim. 

    All the Best,
    Jans

  10. Yorinda Wanner

    Hi Jim,
    amazing photos, photography.

    Thank you so much for taking me on this visual tour of a place I probably would not have seen without finding it on your post.
    Stunning!
    Much appreciated.
    Looking forward to your next post.
    Yorinda

  11. Perry A Davis Jr

    Hello Jim

    I enjoy reading your adventures. Your photography gives one tremendous views of your travel.  Jim how were the 1200 rooms used?

    Thanks

    Perry A Davis Jr

  12. Terrific Tonya Heathco

    Jim, As always, the tour was very impressive. 1200 rooms, wow! How were they all used? As added  treat I put on a cd of wind chimes and waterfalls. Really created a dull experience.  How do you choose which location to visit next? Thank you again for being my world guide. So many places I’ve always wanted to visit and now you have made that dream come true.

    Many blessing and safe travels –

    Tonya Heathco
    National Seizure Disorders Foundation

  13. Anonymous

    Hi Jim,

    Thanks for sharing another incredible journey with us…with your amazing photography and vivid descriptions, it transports your readers to the destination with you.

    The Park is incredible and I’m happy that you are in great shape so you could walk the 2.5 miles and make it possible for us to see the pictures of the fountains.

    I just returned from the mountains of Vermont with my family and I have to tell you…not quite as picturesque, although the mountain backdrop is quite impressive 🙂

    I look forward to our next adventure…

    Marc

  14. Steve Nicholas

    Great post, Jim! It never ceases to amaze me how many great pictures you get. Have you ever considered trying to write a tour guide book? I think that you could rival Frommer.

  15. Sigal Zoldan

    What a delight to visit your blog. It is almost (almost) like traveling.
    I am grateful to you for bringing you traveling experience to us through your blog.
    I love the picture  named: “Caserta Royal Palace: The Park” I like the angle.

    Will visit again soon.
    PS: Here is about my last traveling experience http://dld.bz/ag7Xd
    have you been there?

    Thanks for taking the time to write this post. Much appreciated.

    Much love, light and joy,
    Sigal Zoldan
    Clinical Hypnotherapist & Master Results Coach

    http://blog.sigalzoldan.com

  16. Raena Lynn

    Hi Jim,

    Thank you for sharing your story and pictures of the Caserta Royal Palace. What do they do with 1200 rooms?

    These pictures are incredible! I especially love the one with the view from the grotto! Simply amazing. Thanks for bringing your travels to us. You could easily market a product using your adventures as a foundation. The photography is brilliant and I love the way you describe your experiences.

    I couldn’t help notice the graffiti at the top of the grotto! Thanks!

    Raena Lynn

  17. Louise Steiner

    Hi Jim….thank you this beautiful account of the gardens of Caserta Royal Palace.  I have not visited this Palace, but I am very familiar with Versailles and I can certainly see the resemblance.  Versailles made a lasting impression on me and this looks just as magnificent.
    Louise

  18. Dr. Bob Clarke

    What an amazing place to visit, Jim.  Your pictures are truly amazing and I thank you for your walking tour of the magnificent grounds.  All I can say is WOW!

    We have never been to Italy but plan to in the near future.  This will definitely be a place to visit on our “must see” list.

    Thanks again!

  19. kevin schmidt

    Hi Jim,

    looks incredible! very nice pictures.
    I would definitely love to visit here… I bet the food is incredible too.
    Thanks for the tour!

    Talk soon,
    Kevin

  20. Willena Flewelling

    Breathtaking! Just… breathtaking!

    I am on track to lose over 100 lbs too, Jim. Maybe when I’ve reached my goal weight, I’ll be able to travel there and walk that two miles! In the meantime, thank you so much for sharing your awesome experience with us… it’s the next best thing to being there!

    Willena Flewelling

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