Here, a magical and exhilarating atmosphere is traced by itineraries that journey into the heart of the city, accompanied by art, history and nature, and savoring the traditional flavors and folkloric traditions.
Caserta Province surprises for its parks, reserves and protected areas, where a peaceful and tranquil environment warmly welcomes the visitor.
The Volturno River runs through the ample plain, with the Matese Mountain constituting the regional confine with Molise, and the extinct Roccamorfina Volcano that borders with Lazio.
Orchards, vineyards and olive groves embellish the landscape of this beautiful land, the abundance of which the Romans appreciated, calling it Campania Felix (happy country). Fine-sand beaches, protected by green-pine forests and lapped by the blue of the Tyrrhenian Sea, make up the coastal landscape that overlooks the Gulf of Gaeta.
History greets the visitor on every corner: Medieval villages, churches and cathedrals, architecture from the Roman era have all observed the passage of ancient civilizations.
This terrain surprises for the creativity of its people, for its tumult of bright colors, dances and songs echoing from the piazzas of small towns in joyous and frequent celebration.
A walk with the local people enhances the senses, providing the visitor with a precious legacy, composed of flavors and aromas that lift the spirit and soothe the heart.
A mild climate, favored by the protection of the Campanian Apennine range to the east, and the sea to the west, makes the stay pleasurable all year round.
Caserta, the Provincial Capital, exhibits its art both in the town center and in the beautiful surrounding area.
Eleven acres, 120 hectares of park, 1,200 rooms, 34 staircases, 1,742 windows, and 22 years of labor: these are mind-blowing statistics that one can grasp only when seeing the Reggia di Caserta face to face.
The palace's grandeur immediately strikes the eye. A walk in the marvelous park, along the boulevard lined by sculptures, ponds and waterfalls, is all it takes to be amazed by the architectural lines that design the massive façade. The sensation is enhanced when the visitor enters the Palace, where a series of artworks, stuccoes, bas-reliefs, frescoes, sculptures and decorated floors reveal themselves in all their magnificence.
The Complesso Monumentale Belvedere di San Leucio is another exemplar of the grand development commissioned by the House of Bourbon. Originally a hunting and vacation residence, the complex was designed and developed by Ferdinand IV who, following in the footsteps of his father, desired a palace that additionally served as spinning mill, so that the small town could thoroughly dedicate itself to the manufacture of silk. Today visitors can admire the royal apartments, the Silk Museum and a collection of restored tools, still in working condition. From the Belvedere terraces, adorned with graceful gardens, a spectacular view spanning all the way to the Gulf of Naples awaits.
The ancient village of Casertavecchia, with its characteristic Medieval plan, is nestled on a hill whence it watches the surrounding terrain. Narrow alleys and stone buildings surround the Cathedral, with its superb Romanesque lantern and tall bell tower decorated with arches and twin lancet windows.
Just outside Caserta is Santa Maria Capua Vetere, with its Roman Anfiteatro Campano calling to mind the impressive aspect of the Colosseum for its shape and design; the interesting Antica Capua Archeological Museum; the ancient mithraeum and the magnificent Duomo di Santa Maria Maggiore.
Capua, traversed by the Volturno River, is one of the Province's most beautiful towns. It is hard not to be amazed by its artistic and architectural heritage: palaces, castles, churches and monuments remind the visitor of its glorious past, when Frederick II regarded it as the entrance to his kingdom. A must-see sight is the Benedectine Basilica of Sant'Angelo in Formis, an architectural and artistic gem, and the Museo Campano, with its vast collection of finds left by the ancient civilizations that once settled in this area.
In the Roccamorfina Regional Park, towered over by an ancient volcano now extinct are picturesque villages conserving ancient traditions.
In Sessa Aurunca, the remains of the massive theatre, the cryptoporticus and the bridge are the evidence of its history as a Roman colony and, consequently, municipality. Some of the material used to build the Cathedral of San Pietro and Paolo dates back to the Roman era. The three-arch façade is constructed with ancient columns, whereas the interior is divided into three naves; the middle one is adorned with precious flooring. Teano, with the remains of a monumental Roman Theatre, is set within the gorgeous scenery of the Regional Park, and is famous for the meeting between Garibaldi and Vittorio Emanuele II.
A perfect balance between man and nature - this is the sensation one feels hiking the trails of the Matese Regional Park, in discovery of inspiring landscapes interwoven with the remains of the ancient civilizations that dominated and/or passed through here. Cool mountain breezes diffuse a breath of fresh air through this pristine natural realm.
Same emotions, different setting: the Roccamorfina Regional Park, location of an extinct volcano whose eruptions shaped this land in Antiquity, is an ideal habitat for the chestnut forests, vineyards and olive groves that blanket the expanse. At the end of each winter, the bright green of the woods and the silver of the olive groves mix with the rainbow of colors revealed in spring blossoms. The mélange of scents, colors and sounds is enhanced by the elegance of the most bewitching flower: the orchid.
Two identities, their common denominator is Mother Nature at her most extraordinary - to be, without a doubt, explored, whether by way of hiking, trekking, horseback riding, mountain biking, cross-country skiing, or rock and ice climbing.
The mouth of the Garigliano River sees the first of trail that re-traces the ancient Domiziana road, along which the current beach resorts were established. The coast is composed of long, white beaches and dense pine forests, thus making for the perfect place for a vacation by the sea.
The development of silk manufacturing during the Bourbon domination has carried on and evolved over time; at the present time, the area is famous for the precious silk products that are often used for interior decoration.
The past can be felt everywhere. Festivals and fairs that marry both the sacred and the pagan recall the history, culture and traditions of Caserta Province - in particular, the Sagra delle Pallottole, a gastronomic festival held in the village of San Leucio. The event not only features an historic procession in which participants wear traditional silk dresses, the local women prepare by hand and serve the so-called pallottole, tasty potato croquettes. Finally, exhibits, events, concerts and the famous float parade have enlivened the streets of Capua for over a century, in celebration of one of the most colorful and joyful times of the year, Carneval!
The gastronomic tradition of the Province of Caserta is made of simple, mouthwatering recipes, and nowadays these flavors can only be found in the local products that follow such tradition.
Celebrated worldwide is the buffalo mozzarella, which is still produced with craftsmanship to confer its unique, soft texture. It can be made in different shapes: round, braided, knotted or as cherries. The water buffalo milk is used also to make butter, burrino, burrata, smoked provola and fresh or dried ricotta.
The caso conzato is a cheese boasting a uniquely intense and aromatic flavor, achieved via an extensive and plodding procedure.
The Salaprese is a kind of sheep cheese that, differently from pecorino, is not matured but enjoyed right after having absorbed the salt. It tastes fresh and sweet, with a strong hint of sheep's milk. The Cacioforte is a cheese produced since Antiquity, but today it is rather hard to find. Yet some Statigliano farmers still produce it following the ancient recipe.
Local farms supply the excellent meat used to prepare cold cuts such as capicollo, prosciutto di Monte, pancetta tesa and the filet of Vairano Patenora; Vairano Patenora is also famous for its sausiccia, a sausage seasoned in special terra-cotta vases from the Caserta area.
The Capuanella artichoke, tender and delicate; the tasty Roccamorfina porcini mushrooms, firm in texture and rich in taste; the many varieties of apple – Annurca, Limoncella and Sergente - each varying in character, the Marmulegna, a delicious, golden plum; and the Roccamorfina chestnut are all delicacies that distinguish the local cuisine and recipes.
What's for dessert? you might ask. Taste the tempting susamielli, crunchy flour, honey and walnut biscuits; the pigne, soft, glazed sweets; a slice of serpentone stuffed with honey, walnuts and natural flavors; or a guanto caleno, an old, traditional recipe.
The wine list is long as well: you would not do wrong to try a glass of the Asprinio di Aversa, Falerno del Massico or Galluccio, all labeled DOC, and all perfectly complementing the typical culinary dishes of Caserta Province.