... otherwise known as the Palace of Caserta or the Versailles of Italy. It's actually the largest royal residence in Europe and boasts some impressive grounds as well.
A friend and I visited over the Pasquetta holiday (Monday after Easter) which I mistakenly thought would be quiet. Come to find out, a picnic at Caserta is something of a local tradition. There were some serious crowds. Luckily we arrived before the majority and had a nice walk through the grounds and the historic apartments indoors. It wasn't quite as interesting as expected - no famous art and nothing very interactive - but it was beautiful and I'm glad we got out and had an adventure.
From the front
And the back... the way back that is
To give you a sense of the scale this is not even half way between the waterfall and the palazzo.
Here are the falls up close. They really are gorgeous and if you have any mobility issues you can take a mini bus from the palazzo for 2.50 or a horse drawn carriage for 10 or rent a bike for somewhere in between. Also, the English gardens (closed for Pasquetta) are at the very end by the falls so it's worth your time - promise!
Even though the monarch would have needed binoculars to see them from his house, these statues at the base of the falls were just lovely.
Back in the palace these stairs are famous (and you can spot them in several films including Star Wars Episodes I and II.)
There were lots of huge chandeliers...
And in the family's private spaces some totally cozy looking beds. (They should really let exhausted tourists have a nap at this point in the tour.)
I really like this "little" changing room!
Here's the front lawn before it hit peak craziness. See that line off to the right? It actually continues all the way around to the front door out of frame off to the left (meeting up with the main sidewalk). Judging by how long the line was when we arrived and how long it took to get inside I'd say that's a two hour wait. Easy. Yeah, Italians are serious about their history. Also, Vesuvius!