Parco della Reggia di Caserta

via Douhet 2/A (Caserta)

II the current Park is only partially the project by Luigi Vanvitelli; the work was completed by his son Charles who scaled back, due to lack of funds, the paternal design. The structure is divided into three parts. The first, just behind the Palace, is destined for the parterre (a meadow with straight avenues) and includes the cd. old (because the existing Palace) in what is the Carlson, sixteenth-century building rebuilt in 1769 as a miniature fortress where the young Ferdinand IV is exercised in mock battles. The avenues arrive at Peschiera, artificial lake with island in the Middle, with a circular Temple. The second part of the Park, characterized by water gushing out from fountains placed in axis with the Palace, starts from the "Margherita": two side ramps, it ascends to the deck of Hercules where he began the great "waterway". Following the slope of the Hill, alternate water basins, basins and statues adorned with overlays; two large streets, bounded by espaliers and holm oaks, the line to the big basin, in which from the foot of Mount Briano precipitates a massive waterfall. The first fountain that meets is called "Dolphins" because the water flows from the mouths of three large fish carved in stone. Follows the "Eolo", a large semicircular in which open many "caves" that mimic the home of twenty, represented by numerous statues of Zephyrs, never completed. Meet, then, seven tanks which form waterfalls as degrading and the "Ceres", symbol of the feracità of Sicily, with the statues of the goddess and of the two rivers. The last fountain portrays the story of "Venus and Adonis". Below the waterfall basin of Mount Briano, nicknamed "the bath of Diana", two important marble groups depicting Actaeon at the time, turned into deer, being mauled by his own dog and Diana, surrounded by the nymphs, while surprise exits the bathroom. The third part is the English garden, commissioned by Maria Carolina. Was Lord Hamilton who persuaded the Queen to compete with his sister Marie Antoinette of France, who had made in Versailles realize the Petit Trianon. It was, therefore, called the English botanist Andrew Graefer who in 1782 began to work in the area near the big waterfall, where the sloping ground towards noon lends itself to original compositions and the cultivation of exotic species. The garden offers a number of beautiful places with deep references to models of the time: the cryptoporticus with statues from the excavations of Pompeii and the Farnese collection; the small lake of Venus bath, with the fake Pompeian ruins; the casino, two-storey building with basement and Doric pillars supporting a cornice decorated with medallions, which was the home of Graefer, and finally the aperia, an area used as water reservoir by Vanvitelli, then used for rearing of bees and finally converted into a greenhouse in 1826. Close, the four greenhouses in which put in place Graefer plants that sought to Capri, in Salento or to Palermo. Near the Aquarium, are designed for aquatic plants, the rose garden and the Botany School.

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