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Visit Caserta’s Royal Palace (Reggia di Caserta): the complete guide

Visit Caserta's Royal Palace

The Royal Palace of Caserta, with its majestic architecture and lush gardens, evokes the opulence of the great European courts. We recommend a visit to this UNESCO World Heritage site, which is not just a historical monument, but a true cultural experience. In this guide, we’ve put together all the information you need to plan your visit to the Palais.

During our stay in Naples, which you can read about in our article detailing what to do in Naples, we recommend exploring the Naples area. Caserta’s Royal Palace is a must-see for art and history lovers. Located north of Naples, this architectural masterpiece, reminiscent of the Château de Versailles, is well worth a visit.

History and Architecture of the Royal Palace of Caserta

The project for the Royal Palace of Caserta, initiated in 1752, marks a turning point in Italian architectural history. Designed by Luigi Vanvitelli at the request of King Charles de Bourbon, this palace was intended to symbolize the power and modernity of the Kingdom of Naples. Construction lasted several decades, extending beyond Vanvitelli’s own lifetime, and was completed under the direction of his son, Carlo Vanvitelli.

The architecture of the Palazzo di Caserta is a blend of Baroque and Neoclassical styles. Its vast dimensions, with a façade over 250 meters long and more than 1,200 rooms, make it one of the largest palaces built in Europe. The palace’s design was influenced by masterpieces such as the Château de Versailles in France and the Escorial in Spain, but of course with an Italian touch.

Compared with Versailles, the Palazzo di Caserta stands out for its scale and more rigorous, geometric layout. While Versailles is a prime example of French Baroque, Caserta illustrates the transition from Baroque to Neoclassicism, reflecting the changes in art and society of the time.

Luigi Vanvitelli was a visionary architect, and Caserta is considered his masterpiece. He succeeded in creating a palace that not only impresses with its size and majesty, but also with its technical ingenuity. From the complex aqueduct systems to supply the fountains and gardens to the innovative architectural solutions for the building’s stability and aesthetics, the palace reflects Vanvitelli’s genius.

Over the years, Caserta’s Royal Palace has undergone several restorations and modifications, each adding a layer to its rich history. These interventions were made with a view to preserving the integrity of Vanvitelli’s original vision, while adapting the palace to contemporary needs and standards.

Today, the Royal Palace of Caserta is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, recognized for its artistic and historical value. It continues to attract visitors from all over the world, fascinated by its architecture, gardens and rich history.

Guided tours of the Royal Palace of Caserta

There’s so much to discover and learn about the palace, it’s worth booking a guided tour. You can hire a guide on the spot, but we really advise you to book your guide in advance to make sure you have room. We’ve selected the best guided tours available on our partner’s website.

All tours cover the history of the palace, its architecture, the political events that led to its construction, the architectural masterpiece that is the palace, and also the gardens and fountains.

We recommend the 3-hour tour of the palace and gardens. In our view, one can’t exist without the other.

What to see at Palazzo di Caserta

The Royal Apartments

The royal apartments of the Palazzo di Caserta are a living testimony to the opulence and refinement of the Bourbon court. Each room, adorned with frescoes, precious tapestries and period furnishings, tells a story of power, art and culture. From ceremonial salons to private bedrooms and study rooms, these spaces offer a fascinating glimpse into the daily life of royalty.

Visit the Ceremonial and Artistic Rooms

  1. The Throne Room: the heart of power, the Throne Room impresses with its size, gilded decoration and painted ceiling. It was here that great ceremonies and royal audiences were held.
  2. The Palatina Library: Home to thousands of rare volumes and manuscripts, this library is a treasure trove for historians and book lovers alike.
  3. Le Théâtre de la Cour: Inspired by Baroque theaters, this is a remarkable example of the theatrical architecture of the period, and is still used today for shows and concerts.
Theatre Caserta

Remarkable Works of Art and Architectural Elements

The palace houses an impressive collection of arts and crafts. From painting and sculpture to marquetry and gilding, every artistic element of the palace was designed to dazzle and reflect the prestige of the Bourbon court.

  1. Frescoes and murals: the palace’s ceilings and walls are adorned with frescoes by renowned artists, telling mythological and historical stories.
  2. Sculptures and decorations: The sculptures dotted around the palace, whether in marble, bronze or gold, are masterpieces of Baroque and Neoclassical art.
  3. Craftsmanship and Marquetry: The palace’s furniture and woodwork bear witness to the exceptional skills of the period’s craftsmen.

The Gardens and Fountains of Caserta Palace

The gardens of Caserta’s Palais-Royal, covering some 120 hectares, are a veritable work of landscape art. Designed by Luigi Vanvitelli as a natural extension of the palace’s architecture, these gardens combine the geometric rigor of the French style with the exuberance of the Italian Baroque. Every path, every grove, is designed to offer visitors a pleasant stroll.

Don’t hesitate to get lost during your visit: that’s how you discover little nuggets and rediscover your adventurous soul. If you have children, take the opportunity to organize a treasure hunt, a great way to encourage them to explore.

Fountains and Sculptures

Caserta’s fountains are among the most spectacular in Italy, each telling a story through its sculptures and water features. We’ve listed the ones you absolutely must see:

  1. The Fountain of Diana and Actaeon: inspired by Greek mythology, this fountain is a remarkable example of harmony between sculpture, architecture and nature. The figures of Diana and Actaeon, surrounded by animals and nymphs, create a fascinating spectacle.
  2. Other major fountains: Other fountains, such as the Fountain of Venus and Adonis or the Fountain of Aeolus, are also major points of interest, each with its own character and history.
  3. Waterfalls and Ponds: Waterfalls add a dynamic dimension to gardens, with water flowing from different levels, creating a soothing visual and aural effect.

Caserta’s gardens are also a haven for a variety of plants and animals. The mix of local and exotic flora creates a diverse landscape, with age-old trees, aromatic plants and colorful flowers.

Our tips for enjoying the gardens

To make the most of exploring the gardens, it’s advisable to wear comfortable shoes and allow plenty of time, as the area is vast. Garden-specific guided tours are also available, offering detailed explanations of the gardens’ history and botany.

Take the shuttle bus from the Palace to the fountains at the back of the gardens, as it’s almost a 3km walk in a straight line. It’s very impressive, but you soon tire of walking.

Practical information

Opening hours

Open year-round from 9:30 am to 7:30 pm.
Weekly closing: The palace is closed every Tuesday.

Park and garden opening times

MonthOpeningLast EntryClosing
January8h3015h0016h00
February8h3015h3016h30
March8h3016h0017h00
April-Sept.8h3018h0019h00
October8h3016h3017h30
Nov.-Dec.8h3014h3015h30
Opening times for the gardens and park of Caserta’s Royal Palace

English garden opening times

MonthOpeningLast EntryClosing
January8h3014h0015h00
February8h3014h3015h30
March8h3015h0016h00
April-Sept.8h3017h0018h00
October8h3016h0017h00
November8h3014h0015h00
December8h3013h3014h30
Caserta English Garden opening times

How to get to Caserta from Naples

  1. By car: For those who prefer the flexibility of a car, the drive from Naples to Caserta takes about an hour, depending on traffic. It also means you can explore the surrounding area at your own pace. However, driving in Naples is hell (traffic signs are often disregarded), so be zen and very careful (we avoided several accidents on each trip).
  2. By train: Travelling from Naples to Caserta by train is one of the quickest and most convenient options. Frequent trains link the two cities, with a journey time of around 30 to 40 minutes. It’s an ideal option for those seeking both comfort and efficiency. What’s more, the station is literally in front of the palace, so we much prefer this solution.

Day trip

Several travel agencies offer day tours to the Royal Palace of Caserta from Naples. These tours usually include transport to and from the palace (it’s still convenient), entry to the palace and a local guide. We advise you to book these tours in advance, especially during the peak tourist season. Bookings can be made online or via local travel agencies.

Our tips for visiting Caserta’s Royal Palace

When is the best time to visit?

  1. Recommended seasons: Late spring and early autumn are ideal for visiting Caserta’s Palazzo Reale. During these periods, the climate is pleasant and the gardens are particularly beautiful and open until late.
  2. Avoid the crowds: For a quieter experience, opt for weekdays and avoid national holidays and weekends, especially during the peak tourist season.
  3. Arrive early: Arriving as soon as the palace opens can allow you to explore the palace and gardens before the majority of visitors arrive.

How to prepare for a visit to Caserta

  1. Comfortable clothes and shoes: Bring weather-appropriate clothing and wear comfortable shoes, as the tour involves a lot of walking.
  2. Water and food: Bring your own water and food, especially if you plan to spend the whole day on site. Enjoy a picnic in the gardens.

As you can see, if you love palaces and beautiful gardens, we strongly recommend a visit to the Royal Palace. It’s a monument of great historical value. It’s not Versailles, but it’s worth the detour.

Feel free to leave us a quick note or 5 stars below, to tell us if you’re planning this trip, to ask any questions you may have, here or on Instagram, we’ll get back to you with great pleasure.

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Picture of Matthieu
Matthieu
A traveler at heart, I've always felt at home anywhere in the world. I'm also passionate about new technologies. I love trying out all the typical dishes when I arrive in a country. Always on the lookout for new experiences, I'm sharing the ones I've had through this blog.
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