Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Palace of Caserta


One of the most splendid palaces of Europe, surpassing even the vastness of Versailles, was the palace of Caserta of the Bourbon kings of Naples. Marie-Antoinette's strong-willed sister Queen Maria Carolina lived there, as well as her grand-niece Caroline, the Duchesse de Berry. The scene in the novel Madame Royale where Caroline and Ettore pledge their love takes place in the gardens of Caserta. Share

7 comments:

alice l. said...

It is hard to imagine the French surpassing the Italians is art or architecture, and we certainly know they don't in music.

elena maria vidal said...

There was a documentary about Caserta last night on one of the travel channels. It is orange on the outside. I think it may even outdo some of the Russian palaces for grandeur. And yet one hardly ever hears about it. They filmed one of the "Star Wars" there.

Don Marco said...

I am proud to say that my mother's family comes from the province of Caserta in the former Kingdom of Naples and the Two Sicilies. The Onoratelli family palace — my forbears were "marchesi" — where my dear cousins now live and where I often visit bears no resemblance to the grandiose palace of Caserta. It has its own beauty nonetheless with gloriously chubby naked angels over the arches and on either side of the family "stemma". We also have our own family church. One could write a novel about the Onoratelli family, the fortunes gained and lost, the intrigue, the romance, and the mysticism!

elena maria vidal said...

Dear Don Marco, what you say certainly does sound like the makings of a great novel, even better than "The Leopard." I know little about the south of Italy but what I have stumbled across through research for "Madame Royale" is supremely interesting. How wonderful that you still have cousins in Caserta to preserve the family heritage! I am sure that the Onoratelli palace has a charm and splendor that the grandiose royal palace sorely lacks, for all the orange marble. Oh, those Bourbons could be so pompous....

Thanks for telling us about your family!

Don Marco said...

You can read more about my family at Vultus Christi. Do a search within my blog for Sepicciano, and you should find two or three posts with photos.

King Ferdinando II spent the night in an enormous wrought iron bed in our palazzo. He chose our place over the ducal palace of the Gaetani d'Aragona right down the road! I will spare you the royal details. All too Borbonici! I have since slept in the same bed. Different mattress, pillows, and sheets.

Elisa said...

Thanks for including the pictures of Caserta! Since I've read "Madame Royale" I have a better picture of what the palace looks like and what Therese must have seen while she weas there.

elena maria vidal said...

You are welcome, dear Elisa.

Don Marco, I will certainly investigate, as I am eager to learn more. So the king honored the house and the bed. That must be quite a story....

I would also like to learn more about the last Queen of Naples, Sisi's sister. Another very tragic life - at least one nervous breakdown.