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Caserta, Charles's Royal Palace

In the 18th Century, Charles III of Spain made Naples the most important cultural center of its time, commissioning the restoration of the Palazzo Reale and the construction of the Royal Palace of Portici, of the Palace of Capodimonte and of Teatro San Carlo. Charles realized the Royal Palace in Caserta in his ambition to compete with the Palace of Versailles in terms of dimensions and magnificence: the Reggia di Caserta, as it is known in Italian, is considered to be the Italian Baroque's last great expression. He entrusted the Palace's design to the greatest architect of the era, Luigi Vanvitelli, who followed closely each phase of the Palace's creation, from construction to the final details of decorational sculpture and painting. Along the 3 km or 1.8 mi of the park's central road, greeting those that travel it are the spectacular fountains of the Dolphins and Sea Monster, of Aeolus, of Ceres, of Venus and Adonis and, finally, of Diana and Actaeon.