Old World Charm LbNA # 27209
|Placed Date||Nov 19 2006|
|Location||Caserta, Italy, INT|
The hamlet of Casertavecchia rises to over 400 meters above sea level on the slopes of the Tifata Mountains, about 10 kilometers away from the Royal Palace of Caserta, Italy. The first indication of settlement in the early Middle Ages dates back to 861 A.D., when a historian referred to the town of Casahirta – which literally means “town set in a steep position”. It is thought that the area was already urbanised in Roman or even pre-Roman times.
The Castle of Casertavecchia was built when the grandson of the Count of Capua occupied the city of Caserta. The structure initially had the function of a fortified dwelling and was transformed into a proper Castle thanks to modifications made first under the Normans and then under the Swabians. The Castle was surrounded by a ditch and had around it’s perimeter four corner watch towers. Of these, the principal tower, the Keep, survives, and a stretch of the wall connected to it. The Keep stands at a considerable height of 32 meters, with a diameter of over 10 metres and walls more than four meters thick, wide enough for one of the staircases between floors to be built inside it. The base of the tower is made up of rough polygonal blocks of limetstone. Near the walls of the Keep in the park of trees is where you will find the box.
Take the A1 towards Rome from Naples. Exit at “Caserta sud” paying a toll of about 1.40 euro. After the toll, merge onto the road to the right and immediately follow the round about to the left following the sign that says “SS87 Caserta”. Move to the center lane and follow the signs to Caserta. Drive down this road about 5 kilometers. The Royal Palace of Caserta will be directly in front of you (If you have the time, visit this wonderful palace, the fee is minimal and the palace and gardens are wonderful). You will come to a point in the road where you have to go right. Veer to the right at this round about in front of the palace. Follow the road straight over the bridge until it empties onto another street. You will be turning right, but don’t take the extreme right road. Merge onto this road that has one lane going in your direction (with a concrete curb seperating the lane) while the other side of the road has two lanes going back towards the palace. Travel down this road until it dead ends and then turn left. This road will curve to the right and here is where you see the first signs for Casertavecchia (yellow and black sign). After the soccer stadium on the left side, get in your left lane and turn left at the intersection with large black signs with white arrows on them curving the road to the left. Get immediately in the right lane and follow this road up the hill. This road will dead end and you will turn left. This is where the signs for Casertavecchia will turn brown with white letters. These signs also have a castle on them. You’ll be making many turns while following these signs to Casertavecchia. Be careful at one roundabout (past a mausoleum with pink concrete walls) because the sign for Casertavecchia is on the far left side and is easy to miss. This roundabout has a short palmetto tree in the center of it so don’t miss this turn. Now you’ll be taking a few more turns always following the signs to Casertavecchia and making your way up the mountain. The city will dwindle and you’ll be passing a few quaint villages along the way. You’ll know when you get to Casertavecchia when you come upon a small old church and several parking lots and restaurants, plus you've passed a sign that welcomes you to Casertavecchia (Benvenuti a Casertavecchia). Park your car in any of these lots, usually costing around one eruo to park for the day.
To the Box:
Walk up the hill along the small paved road through the park of trees. Turn right onto an unpaved path leading up to the castle. After the steps, take the path to the right around the back of the castle. The path will begin to go back down the hill among the trees of the park. As your walking, notice to your left a small rock fence that is about knee high. There are a few trees along this border of the park. Find the tree with the ivy growing all the way up it (about 19 steps by my 10 year old to the left of the path). The box is hidden at the base of this tree under white rocks and foliage. Please re-cover the box throughly with the rocks as this park is maintained.
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you make it to this box.