It is one of the most important provinces of Campania, for many reasons, but first of all because of its very ancient history.
Caserta is already talked back by the Etruscans first and then the Romans as an important crossroads to visit South Italy.
There are lots of things to explore, and a page not enough, so I will focus only on three historical sites from a let’s say closer period to us: the Royal Palace of Caserta, San Leucio and Caserta Vecchia.
For the lovers of history, these are 3 amazing places, with a really beautiful visual impact.
In a weekend you have the possibility to easily visit all 3 sites. Let’s start with what for many is nicknamed “the little Versailles”: the Royal Palace of Caserta
Imposing, it dominates the lower part of the city of Caserta. Beautiful and noble.
It was commissioned by Charles of Bourbon as a new administrative headquarters of the Kingdom of the two Sicilies.
The impact that you will get past the entrance will be of pure amazement. An architectural work that has few equals in the world.
A place that tells court intrigues, lavish parties and hunts. Today it is a museum that recalls the ancient and noble splendor of the two Sicilies, when Naples was the capital of a Reign and possessed great wealth.
The gardens of the Palace are the most visited and through some associations in collaboration with the Superintendent of Cultural Heritage there is a chance that you can still visit in the evening with the colorful play of lights that make the gardens and the forest that surrounds it fantastic . It ‘s an experience that I recommend to all lovers of beauty: you will appreciate this splendor.
I do not know exactly how long the central avenues are but I think at least 3 km: are passable on foot, with an inside shuttle or even with gigs that make the idea of the magnitude of the Palace.
The masterpieces of Vanvitelli that you will find there are really special and demonstrate how big was an artist already at the court of Charles of Bourbon.
Having devoted the entire morning to the palace, given the proximity between the two sites, I suggest you move to San Leucio, Caserta’s most famous site for its ancient silk factories; but not everyone knows that was part of an original community willed by King Charles of Bourbon who created a special state dedicated only to the citizens of this place. The history of San Leucio is beautiful and shows how farsighted the rulers of Naples were and what was done to make Naples and all its surroundings the “navel” of the Mediterranean and the second most important city along with Rome and Venezia.
The advice is to take a guided tour with local expert guides that can make you imagine through stories and anecdotes life the splendor and the organization of those times. Seeing today Caserta and Naples, and imagining that they made the history of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies and of Italy itself, makes me feel a very deep emotion!
Beautiful in all their noble beauty in the past and in a total limbo now.
But let’s continue our travel:
From San Leucio, along the way, in about 15 minutes we arrive at one of the most beautiful small villages of Italy: Caserta Vecchia! (Old Caserta)
It ‘a delightful medieval village built around the cathedral and the ancient castle (destroyed) and whose only remains is one of the towers that remembers the ancient splendor of this place. The streets that wriggle harmoniously among houses and restaurants all converge in the main square of the belltower (Campanile) and Cathedral.
There is something missing, right? Certainly the province of Caserta is also rich of typical local products and who knows me weel, knows that besides being a great gourmet, I love to eat with gusto and quality food !
Lots of excellences here, but my advice focuses on some restaurants which are located between San Leucio and Caserta Vecchia.
Those who stay in San Leucio must try the” Dogana Golosa”: high-quality meat and good pasta dishes as well, cold cuts and cheese, typical of the area.
If you decide to remain in Caserta Vecchia definitely sample the cuisine of “Antico Ristorante Mastrangelo”, in the square of the Cathedral in the heart of the village: a cuisine of ancient traditional local flavors .
We arrived now at the end of this beautiful stroll around Caserta. I hope you got useful both tourist and culinary tips to make your stay pleasant in Campania !