Caserta is a city to be rediscovered, it is forgotten by mass tourism in spite of its history and its traditions. Think about Caserta, and you think about High Baroque style. A little italian village, rich in history, with the the wonderful Reggia Vanvitelliana, the so called little italian Versailles, that can be explored by foot or just riding a bike. The palace is full of treasures: plants and flowers and all Bourbon’s magic experience... A permanent exhibition of the ‘800 crib have been fashinating tourists for decades ... You have to see old Caserta, with its narrow perched streets and the Neapolitan cuisine...
Piazza Vanvitelli
Piazza Vanvitelli, photo by Raffaele Tech, via Flickr

1. The city and the Royal Palace

What can you visit and enjoy in Caserta?

First of all, a stroll through the historic center.

The cafes of Via Mazzini will surprise you and the small but beautiful cathedral dedicated to St. Michael the Archangel will give to you its majestic interior, completely unexpected.

Piazza Vanvitelli, is the heart of the ancient town and alla round its shape it was formed the new city, after the Norman invasion. The square is quite the civil and commercial center of Caserta, with the little church San Francesco di Paola where it is buried Vanvitelli.

The Royal Palace of Caserta (Italian: Reggia di Caserta) is a former royal residence in Caserta, southern Italy, constructed for the Bourbon kings of Naples.
The Park of Caserta Royal Palace, photo by Pietro Columba, via Flickr

2. A Bike itinerary inside the Park of Caserta Royal Palace

The "Versailles of the Bourbons" (Royal Palace) is a magnificent example of the Picturesque taste of Romantic style and can be visited riding through vast green areas and monuments of historical and architectural interest.

The beautiful park, which stretches on a surface of about 120 ha., is full of fountains and statues. It is situated on the top of a hill and surrounded by green.

Bikes can be rented within the park and a big adventure will take you through the maze of green Campania. The walk is suitable for everybody and involves only two critical points: one next to the waterfall of the Dolphins Neapolitan Gaetano Solomon, the other near the Fountain of Aeolus. At the end of the path you can enter to the English Garden, and see the statues of "Diana and the nymphs" and "Actaeon turned into a stag and attacked by his dogs," works by Paolo Sorrentino Persian, the most active artists in the court of the Bourbons.

The statues of
The statues of "Diana and the nymphs" and "Actaeon, photo by Nicola, via Flickr

The other smaller sculptures are Brunelli’s, such as the "Wedding of Thetis and Peleus," the "Judgment of Paris", "Jupiter against the three goddesses" and the "Marriage of Paris".

At the top of the hill you can enjoy the comfortable refreshment offered by the English garden that can only be visited by walk. Do not miss the great fishpond, designed by Luigi Vanvitelli and built by Francesco Collecini, 270 meters of clear waters...

Its wealthy vegetation (including exotic plants, such as camphor trees), its abundance of waters and statues makes it an unique complex of its kind.

Parmigiana di melanzane
Parmigiana di melanzane, photo by Ricette Italia, via Flickr

3. Taste and local food

In Caserta cuisine is delicious and simple.

Among the most famous recipes let’s mention parmigiana, which is a succulent blend of baked eggplant with mozzarella, grated cheese and tomato; the friarelli, vegetables cooked in a pan with oil, garlic and chili, and pasta with chickpeas.

You also have to try the black pig from Caserta! Excellent meat and tender taste. It is a must togheter with pizza, served "At the loggia", "Da Ciro" or "Al solito posto". Great sea fish and all the typical products of southern Italy such as buffalo mozzarella, casatiello, olives and struffoli.

Tagliatelle with mushrooms, however, are a Caserta Vecchia’s specialty.

Do not forget Mela Annurca, a fruit to be enjoyed strictly Km0: crispy, tasty and flavored.

At “Tana Del Lupo” you can eat dishes of the local tradition, cooked with style and curiosity.

Let’s discover the Restaurant “La Gatta Mangiona”, tavern specialized in Caserta recipes.

Acquedotto Carolino is a work by Vanvitelli
Acquedotto Carolino, photo by Maria, via Flickr

 

4. Casertavecchia, the natural hot springs and the surroundings

All around the city of Caserta you can go back in centuries in the medieval Casertavecchia, with its little Norman Cathedral, bell tower, and the Lombard castle that recall splendor of the past time.

The view is incredible and the village is often animated by folk events, such as the return of the knights in the village and Settembre al Borgo, which take place during the summer.

Not far from St. Leucio village you will find Capua (12 km), Santa Maria Capua Vetere and Maddaloni. Here you can admire an underestimated gewel, the so-called Acquedotto vanvitelliano (or bridge Valley). From Taburno it takes water to the Royal Palace of Caserta; the bridge, still perfectly preserved, connects Longano Mount with Garzano Mount. A powerful and colossal structure with three orders of arches, 60 meters high, on the model of the Roman aqueducts. At the time of construction it was the longest bridge all over Europe.

In the surroundings  there are also numerous hot springs as Triflisco, Riardo and Theano, to heal your body and mind and to find yourself in full contact with nature.

The Royal Staircase is a baroque masterpiece by Vanvitelli
The Royal Staircase, photo by Jorge Castro, via Flickr

5. Where to stay in Caserta and surroundings

Discover all eco-friendly accommodations in the province of La Spezia, organic agritourism surrounded by olive groves and woods, or cozy B&B set in old villages.

Discover all eco-friendly accommodations in Caserta

Eco-friendly accommodations

B&B L'Alloggio dei Vassalli Napoli

Napoli (Campania)

Starting from €70.00

Le Piracante , B&B country & charme

Caserta (Campania)

Starting from €95.00

Casa Lerario

Benevento (Campania)

Starting from €80.00

Camere in trattamento B&B

Napoli (italia)

Starting from €80.00

Villa de' Luccheri

Provincia di Benevento (Campania)

Starting from €120.00

La Bruca, ospitalità di strega

Province of Benevento (Campania)

Starting from €55.00

La Colombaia

Caserta (Campania)

Starting from €52.00

B&b O'Chalet, una sosta relax

Napoli (Campania)

Starting from €200.00

Casa Mariella nel cuore di Napoli

NA (Campania)

Starting from €80.00

Dormi nella natura - Area archeologica di Pompei

Metropolitan City of Naples (Campania)

Starting from €50.00

Borgo Cerquelle

Benevento (Campania)

Starting from €110.00