Caserta in southern Italy hosts the famous Reggia di Caserta (Royal Palace of Caserta) , a former royal residence in Caserta, Known also as “theVersailles of Naples”. The Reggia di Caserta is the most notable for a resort developed around an old silk factory and the largest palace ever built in Italy and Europe in the eighteenth century. It is located in the province of Caserta in the Italian region of Campania. The town itself, Caserta is situated at the foot of the mountain range. It was designed to be the center of a new town that would compete with leading European cities.
The palace was constructed in 1751 under the command of Bourbon king Charles III (the son of Philip V and the King of Naples which was a self-governing kingdom that was no longer part of the Spanish realm), who desired a palace celebrate the power and richness of the Bourbon kings that could compete with the rival Royal Palace at Versailles and the Royal Palace in Madrid. The site originally was a royal hunting lodge for the princes Acquaviva of Caserta. In its early days, San Leucio resort was a place for pleasure and a royal hunting preserve, built on the ruins of Saint Leucio church, where an aqueduct carried water to the waterfalls of the Royal Caserta Palace. Successively, the son of the King, among his many ground breaking projects, decided to construct a factory. Ferdinand transformed the Palazzo del Belvedere, into a factory a manufacture of silk, the first step towards the creation of a silk city. The small village of San Leucio was turned into an unusual social and technological experiment, a full-scale industrial and social experiment and a different model of production based on technical innovation and alert to the needs of workers. Thus, in 1778, the utopian town of “Ferdinandopoli” was created: it was here that Charles and the young king Ferdinand built a Royal Silk Factory, he turned the entire land in a manufacturing hamlet and an ideal city constructed around it. In 1789 the industrial town was deemed the “Real Colonia dei Setaioli” (the Silk Weavers Royal Colony).
The monumental complex at Caserta is composted of a magnificent palace with its park and gardens, as well as natural woodland, hunting lodges and a silk factory. Luigi Vanvitelli (an Italian engineer and architect) planned this palace, a marvelous example of neoclassical architecture and one of the most famous and important works by the Neapolitan architect. He created this unique baroque castle of five floors, stands 36 meters (118 feet) tall equipped with 1200 required rooms, 25 royal suites, 1742 windows and 34 stairways unwind throughout the palace. Particularly impressive is the main staircase, consisting of 116 steps, all of which are made from a single block. The real highlight inside the park of 120 hectares of Casearta is the enormous waterworks; fountains, sculptures of great value and the Great Waterfall which extends out several kilometers from the palace itself. The waterworks extends up a mountain with waterfalls bringing the water down to the fountains and pools on the level of the garden.
The heritage of King Ferdinand in San Leucio the tradition in San Leucio silk is still strongly present today in the local silk and textile firms, which works on an international scale to elite foreign clients at least the 60% of which destined to foreign markets, especially in Europe, Americans and Arabs as the Buckingham Palace, the White House, the Quirinale Palace and the Palazzo Chigi. San Leucio resort is home to a Living Silk Museum with some original old looms and machinery restored and displayed inside the Belvedere courtyard, showing all the phases of silk productions, from the old looms and machinery to finished products.( the coming photos are via; raffer).
The Royal Palace at Caserta and its park, the Aqueduct of Vanvitelli ,the San Leucio Complex were inserted as one of the 49 Italian UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1997, the 18th Century Royal Palace at Caserta with the Park, the Aqueduct of Vanvitelli and the San Leucio Complex was cited for its representation of a site that is not only an industrial city, but that served as an additional territorial piece of the Royal enclave. This Italian UNESCO World Heritage Site treasures of truly incomparable splendor.