Monday, June 18, 2012

Royal Palace of Caserta

HB: On our way from Rome to Pompei, we made a stop in the town of Caserta. There was an old royal palace located there constructed for the Bourbon King of Naples back when Italy was not united. We toured the interior of the palace, which was quite extravagant as it was designed for King Charles VII of Naples who actual never even slept a night in the palace because he abdicated the throne to become the King of Spain. The house had beautiful decorations, paintings and many Murano chandeliers. Even more impressive than the interior of the house was the exterior garden located behind the palace, which seemed to stretch farther than the eye could see. This garden is nothing like the ones that Americans have in their backyard. They are extensively large. This particular garden had a French feel as it was designed after the garden of Versailles. It had very flat terrain for the most part, was very large in size, was symmetrical in relationship to the palace, and had the major theme of man dominating over nature. All of these aspects make it more of a French style garden, even if this garden is located within Italy. The garden was beautiful and very green. It had an illusion as if it went on forever when you looked down the main pathway. We have learned a lot about the historical gardens and how they have existed through time and  evolved over time. They also differ through cultures. Before this study abroad experience, the only gardens I knew about where the kind that exist in an average American's backyard, plus the few that I was taught about in art history. It has been interesting learning about the different elements in different garden types, but even better to be able to study these gardens in person.

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