Travelling Turtle

Casertavecchia: The enchanting historic village

Casertavecchia (that in italian means “the Old Caserta”) is a charming medieval village located on a panoramic hill above the modern city of Caserta, in Campania. This enchanting place offers a breathtaking view of the valley below and the famous Royal Palace of Caserta. With its ancient charm, winding streets and well-preserved medieval architecture, the village transports visitors on a journey through time.

The history of Casertavecchia and the origins of the name

The origins of Casertavecchia date back to Roman times, when the village was known by the name of “Casam Irtam.” However, the oldest traces of the settlement date back to the time of the Samnites, an Italic population that inhabited this region before the arrival of the Romans.

With the arrival of the Lombards in the 8th century, the village began to take shape and take on a strategic role in the area. The Lombards built the first nucleus of the castle, a structure that would later become iconic. In the Lombard period, Casertavecchia was called “Casam Irtam Longobardorum.”

In the 12th century, with the advent of the Normans, the village saw the construction of the cathedral of San Michele Arcangelo, a masterpiece of Gothic architecture. This period was characterized by considerable growth and development.

With the arrival of the Angevins, the village became a royal residence. Charles II of Anjou, in the 13th century, renovated the castle and transformed it into a sumptuous royal residence. During the Angevin period, the city was renamed “Caserta Regia.”

However, as the centuries passed, the village experienced periods of decline. The upheavals caused by wars and epidemics led to the reduction of the population and the degradation of its structures.

Despite the difficulties, Casertavecchia has preserved its artistic and cultural heritage. The castle, the cathedral and the medieval streets are tangible evidence of its history. The cobbled streets and stone houses contribute to creating an atmosphere that evokes the village’s glorious past.

Today, Casertavecchia is a place of great tourist interest. Visitors can explore its alleys, admire the ancient churches and discover the historical testimonies that tell of its long evolution.

Alleys of Casertavecchia

What to see in Casertavecchia?

The historic center of Casertavecchia develops around the main square which is surrounded by historic buildings, including the Cathedral of San Michele Arcangelo, an imposing religious building with a Gothic facade and a richly decorated interior. Inside the cathedral you can admire ancient frescoes and religious works of art.

Walking through the streets, you come across buildings from different eras, from the medieval to the Renaissance period. The stone houses, decorated portals and ancient churches create a suggestive and fascinating atmosphere. Along the way you can discover hidden corners, quiet courtyards and panoramic terraces that offer spectacular views of the city below and the surrounding countryside.

One of the attractions of Casertavecchia is the castle of which today only two rooms remain which house archaeological finds and works of art linked to the history of the village.

Tips for visiting the village?

Consider that the streets of Casertavecchia are mostly cobbled and sometimes sloping. Make sure you wear comfortable footwear suitable for walking on uneven surfaces. During the summer, bring sunscreen and a hat, as the sun can be very strong.

The village offers numerous options for enjoying traditional Campania cuisine. Don’t miss the opportunity to savor dishes such as pizza margherita or pappardelle with wild boar. You will find that the authentic flavors of this region are a real pleasure for the palate.

Bring your camera and take photos of the breathtaking views, narrow cobbled streets and ancient churches.

In conclusion, Casertavecchia is a fascinating place that combines history, art, culture and nature. With its well-preserved historic center, the panoramic view of the valley below and the proximity to the majestic Royal Palace of Caserta, the village offers a unique experience to visitors.