Caserta, the Provincial Capital, exhibits its art both in the town center and in the beautiful surrounding area.
Eleven acres, 120 hectares of park, 1,200 rooms, 34 staircases, 1,742 windows, and 22 years of labor: these are mind-blowing statistics that one can grasp only when seeing the Reggia of Caserta face to face.
The palace’s grandeur immediately strikes the eye. A walk in the marvelous park, along the boulevard lined by sculptures, ponds and waterfalls, is all it takes to be amazed by the architectural lines that design the massive façade. The sensation is enhanced when the visitor enters the Palace, where a series of artworks, stuccoes, bas-reliefs, frescoes, sculptures and decorated floors reveal themselves in all their magnificence.
The Complesso Monumentale Belvedere di San Leucio is another exemplar of the grand development commissioned by the House of Bourbon. Originally a hunting and vacation residence, the complex was designed and developed by Ferdinand IV who, following in the footsteps of his father, desired a palace that additionally served as spinning mill, so that the small town could thoroughly dedicate itself to the manufacture of silk. Today visitors can admire the royal apartments, the Silk Museum and a collection of restored tools, still in working condition. From the Belvedere terraces, adorned with graceful gardens, a spectacular view spanning all the way to the Gulf of Naples awaits.
The ancient village of Caserta vecchia, with its characteristic Medieval plan, is nestled on a hill whence it watches the surrounding terrain. Narrow alleys and stone buildings surround the Cathedral, with its superb Romanesque lantern and tall bell tower decorated with arches and twin lancet windows.
Just outside Caserta is Santa Maria Capua Vetere, with its Roman Anfiteatro Campano calling to mind the impressive aspect of the Colosseum for its shape and design; the interesting Antica Capua Archeological Museum; the ancient mithraeum and the magnificent Duomo di Santa Maria Maggiore.
Capua, traversed by the Volturno River, is one of the Province’s most beautiful towns. It is hard not to be amazed by its artistic and architectural heritage: palaces, castles, churches and monuments remind the visitor of its glorious past, when Frederick II regarded it as the entrance to his kingdom.
A must-see sight is the Benedectine Basilica of Sant’Angelo in Formis, an architectural and artistic gem, and the Museo Campano, with its vast collection of finds left by the ancient civilizations that once settled in this area.
In the Roccamorfina Regional Park, towered over by an ancient volcano now extinct are picturesque villages conserving ancient traditions.
In Sessa Aurunca, the remains of the massive theatre, the cryptoporticus and the bridge are the evidence of its history as a Roman colony and, consequently, municipality.
Some of the material used to build the Cathedral of San Pietro and Paolo dates back to the Roman era. The three-arch façade is constructed with ancient columns, whereas the interior is divided into three naves; the middle one is adorned with precious flooring. Teano, with the remains of a monumental Roman Theatre, is set within the gorgeous scenery of the Regional Park, and is famous for the meeting between Garibaldi and Vittorio Emanuele II.