A Useful Guide To Caserta Royal Palace, Italy

Europe is full of palaces but none are quite as beautiful and grand as Caserta Royal Palace. Situated in the town of Caserta in southern Italy, this huge property cost $300 billion to build and its construction took more than 50 years.

Today, the palace it’s the largest in the world. It’s also one of the main attractions in Caserta and one of the top attractions in southern Italy.

The Royal Palace of Caserta was once a royal residence but is now open to visitors who wish to see the opulent interior and explore the lovely exterior grounds. When visiting Naples, it’s well worth your time to take a few hours or a day to visit this extraordinary site and below is all the information you need to plan your visit!

Make sure to read my posts The Best Things To Do In Naples and The Best Day Trips From Naples.

History Of Caserta Royal Palace

The Royal Palace of Caserta has a long and fascinating history that goes all the way back to 1752 when the construction of the palace began. It was Luigi Vanvitelli, an Italian architect, who came up with the design with the Palace of Versailles in mind. It was to serve as a residence for Charles VII of Naples and other Bourbon royals of Naples and Sicily.

Although Charles VII anticipated the completion of the palace, he actually never spent a night there because he abdicated and moved on to become the King of Spain before the palace was completed.

Throughout history, the palace served many purposes. From 1923 to 1943, it was home to the Italian Air Force Academy. During the allied invasion in 1943, it became the Allied Force Headquarters for Sir Maitland Wilson and Sir Harold Alexander who were both Supreme Allied Commanders.

Later, in 1945, the terms of the unconditional surrender of German forces in Italy was signed at the palace and the first of the allied war crime trials took place.

In recent times, the place and its grounds were used as a filming location for blockbuster movies including Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. In 1997, the Royal Palace of Caserta was added to the list of World Heritage Sites.

Top Sights At The Royal Palace Of Caserta

The Royal Palace of Caserta is an amazing place to explore. More than just a palace, a building or a family residence, it’s a stunning architectural feat with five floors, 1,200 rooms and expansive grounds to explore.

You can spend a whole day admiring the architecture, artwork, period furnishings, colorful gardens and statues. Below are some of the top sights you’ll see during a visit to the palace.

The Palace

The palace itself is something to see! It’s grand, that’s for sure. It’s also incredibly beautiful. Inside, you can explore all the rooms which include apartments, a theater, a library, the Royal Palatine Chapel, and the impressive Throne Room with its gold throne.

The Royal Apartments can only be reached with a walk up a huge staircase known as the Grand Staircase of Honour and like everything else in the palace, it’s quite grand!

As you explore the palace, you’ll see more marble than you’ve likely ever seen in one place, antechambers, luxurious chandeliers, painted dome ceilings and sculptures. Believe it or not, there are 1742 windows, 1026 fireplaces and 34 staircases in the Royal Palace of Caserta so you’ll see a whole lot of these during your tour as well.

The Garden

The 295-acre garden area, which is situated partially on a hill, encompasses much of the back of the palace and along the long alley leading to the palace.

Within this huge garden is a smaller English Garden that dates back to the late 1700s – it’s actually my favorite part of the park, so make sure not to miss it.

To make the garden look even grander, mirrors and reflecting pools were strategically placed around the grounds. The garden at the Royal Palace of Caserta is one of the most beautiful gardens in Europe.

Caserta Royal Palace

The Parterre and the Old Woods

The Old Woods is a section of forest that was there long before the construction of the palace. It was decided that it would be left in its natural state to keep a more authentic feel to the grounds. Nearby is the large clearing known as the Parterre.

The Complex of Saint Leucio Belvedere

A village known as Saint Leucio Belvedere is located within the palace grounds and it features a silk factory and silk museum.

The Fountains

The fountains at the Royal Palace of Caserta stretch for almost two miles along the Fountains Waterway. As if the beautiful fountains and cascading waters weren’t enough, many of them feature stunning architecture and incredible hydraulics that were considered state-of-the-art for those times.

Some of the fountains you’ll see include the Fountain of Venus and Adonis, the Fountain of the Dolphins, the Fountain of Aeolus and the Fountain of Ceres.

Caserta Vecchia

Other Interesting Sites Nearby

San Silvestro’s Oasis

Once a part of the palace’s grounds, San Silvestro’s Oasis is a 247-acre green space that was once used for hunting, hiking and simply enjoying the natural surroundings. Today, it’s a place where visitors to Caserta gather to spend time outdoors participating in a range of activities including hiking and nature viewing.

Caserta Vecchia

Caserta Vecchia, or Old Caserta, is a picturesque medieval village with a historic church and restaurants.


Anfiteatro Campano o Capuano

Once a Roman Amphitheater almost as grand as the Colosseum, today the ruins of Anfiteatro Campano o Capuano are a popular place to explore in Caserta.

Aqueduct of Vanvitelli

Also known as Caroline Aqueduct, the Aqueduct of Vanvitelli is a 24-mile-long aqueduct that once delivered water to the Royal Palace of Caserta. While it’s mostly underground, you can see a well-preserved 1735-foot-long section that crosses over the Valle di Maddaloni to Monte Longano and Monte Garzano.

Practical Information For Visiting Caserta Royal Palace

Caserta Royal Palace entrance fee and opening hours

The Royal Palace of Caserta is open from 8:30 am to 7:30 pm every day except Tuesdays. It costs €14 to visit the palace and surrounding grounds. You need to book a time slot for your visit and get tickets in advance – you can do that here.

Do you need a guide?

Whether you hire a guide to take you through the Royal Palace of Caserta or not depends on your preferences and what you want to get out of your visit. You can enter the grounds and explore on your own so a guide is technically not needed.

This is best for people who only have a short amount of time to explore the place or who are only interested in admiring the beauty of the site.

However, if you want to get all the back history and information about everything you’re seeing, you might want to go with a guide. Every room, every garden and every public space has a story to tell and the history of this place is a big part of any visit!

I certainly recommend getting a guide – the palace is massive and the gardens are even more immense, and you will need guidance to get around and get at least some understanding of what you are seeing.

The best guided tour of Caserta Royal Palace is available for sale on Tiqets. It’s the one I took and recommend. You can book it here.

Caserta Royal Palace

How to explore Caserta Royal Palace

To get the full experience, it’s best to put a whole day aside to explore the palace and its expansive gardens and grounds.

The best way to explore the Royal Palace of Caserta is with a guided tour. You can book an on-site tour when you book your ticket online and these tours last about two to three hours.

Alternatively, can join an all-inclusive tour from Naples. The best part about a guided tour is you’ll get exclusive entry into hidden areas that you otherwise wouldn’t know about.

The best guided tour of Caserta Royal Palace is available for sale on Tiqets. It’s the one I took and recommend. You can book it here.

To book your day trip to Caserta Royal Palace from Naples, click here.

Of course, you can explore the site on your own. There are panels in each room that provide some information about what you’re seeing and maps of the complex are available at the entrance.

While most people simply walk around the grounds, the option to rent a bike for €4 is available. There is a small bus that costs €2 one way that departs at regular intervals and goes to the last stop in the gardens, from where you can walk back down to the main gate (it will take approximately 45 minutes to do that). You can pay directly on board.

An audio guide is available for €5 and this is a great way to tour the palace on your own while also getting some history about it.

How to get from Naples to Caserta Royal Palace

There are several ways of getting from Naples to Caserta. I don’t recommend going by taxi as this is a fairly busy route and if you get stuck in traffic it will end up being very expensive!

By train

This is by far the easiest way of getting from Naples to Caserta. The Trenitalia Train and EAV Train leave Naples Central Train Station at Piazza Garibaldi and both travel to Caserta multiple times a day.

The service is direct and you only have to walk a few minutes to reach the palace from the Caserta train station. It’s recommended that you book tickets in advance but you can buy them at the station before departure.

A ticket costs €3.40 and it takes about 45 minutes to travel from Naples to Caserta.

Tickets for the train from Naples to Caserta can be purchased online on the website of Trenitalia or at the train station from one of the ticket machines that are on site. Seats are assigned.

During certain times of the year, a historic train called the Reggia Express departs the Naples Central Train Station.

By guided tour

A guided tour is a great way to explore the Royal Palace of Caserta and there are quite a few of them that depart from Naples. Some of these tours are only a couple of hours while others are a full day. Some only explore the palace while others include other attractions along the way.

To book your day trip to Caserta Royal Palace from Naples, click here.

Caserta Royal Palace

By car

If you plan to drive yourself to the place, the drive from Naples is 20 miles and takes about 30 minutes. Be aware that traffic can be hectic during busy times in the summer months and on weekends.

Start your journey on the A3 from Piazza Giuseppe Garibaldi and Via Galileo. After several minutes, take the A1 / E45 to SS Sannitica before taking the Caserta Sud Marcianise exit.

Next, take the Viale Carlo III and then the Viale Vittoria Veneto to reach the palace at Piazza Carlo di Borbone. Parking is available on site.

Don’t forget to read my post A Guide To Renting A Car In Naples.

By bus

From the Naples Central Bus Station at Piazza Garibaldi, the CIRT bus departs every 15 minutes en route to Caserta. Once in Caserta, you’ll need to walk for 15 minutes to reach the palace. It takes about 45 minutes to get there and a ticket is around €2.80.

When to visit Caserta Royal Palace

While the Royal Palace of Caserta is open all year round, the best time to visit is during the spring and summer because this is when the gardens are in full bloom and the weather is nicest.

In terms of the best time of day to tour the palace, early morning when it first opens is best. This is when there are fewer people around so you won’t have to wait in lines and the rooms in the palace won’t be crowded.

It’s also a good idea to avoid visiting on weekends if possible as that’s when it tends to get quite crowded.

Caserta Royal Palace

What to take on a trip to Caserta Royal Palace

Since you’ll be walking a lot, there’s no need to take too much with you on your visit to the Royal Palace of Caserta.

The most important thing to have on you during your visit is a pair of very comfortable walking shoes. Dress in comfortable layers as the temperatures tend to fluctuate throughout the day.

The sun is warm all year round in Italy – and very hot in the summer – so it’s important to bring sunscreen, sunglasses and even a hat no matter what time of year you visit.

Carry a bag that’s only big enough to hold the other necessities you’ll need for the day including entry tickets, snacks, water and some extra cash for a meal, transportation, or souvenirs.

Other useful information

There are washrooms located in various areas of the palace and grounds including the entrance area. You’ll be asked to leave any large bags, umbrellas, or other large items in the luggage storage area as they are not allowed to be carried in the palace’s rooms.

Further Readings

If you are traveling to the Naples area, make sure to read these posts:

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4 thoughts on “A Useful Guide To Caserta Royal Palace, Italy”

  1. C’é sicurezza al parcheggio per I’ll palazzo? Avremo i nostri bagagli in macchina durante la nostra visita. Sarà sicuro?

  2. I would try to leave your stuff at the hotel if possible – if check in is not allowed still, leave them in storage. There also are luggage storage facilities at the train station – which is right in front of the Royal Palace, so you can use that. If you decide to leave your stuff in the car, make sure it’s in the booth and not visible at all. Don’t open the boot at the parking lot. My policy is that it’s always better to be safe, than sorry!

  3. Guess then we should skip Caserta. All our our luggage (9 people) will be visible in our rental van. I though maybe be underground garage at the Palace would be safe but comments make it sound as if that is not so. I tried to find the name of the garage to contact them but could not. Darn.

  4. That parking lot is actually closing soon, so don’t count on that. Can’t you leave stuff in storage at the station?

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