DATE: Friday 14 July, 1995

PLACE: Caserta to Florence


An unexpected pleasure

REMARKS: First stop: the local palace spotted at the end of a long vista last evening. This is a must.

Supervised carpark, then bus into the gardens, a long formal, 'architectural' garden with statuary and water features.

The scale is staggering.

At the far end is a fountain, and along side a 'Giordino Englizi'. A guided tour is lost on us (in Italian) but the grotto with pool, statue, and summer house inside rocks is delightful. Even a 'toy' castle for the children to play at being royalty.

The apartments are even more grand. Marble everywhere, painted ceilings, all the walls draped in silk, baroque furniture and light fittings. The layout makes for tiring viewing: long, continuous string of sumptuous rooms eventually leave me dazed. All the 'plaster' effects are in fact painted.

A well worthwhile diversion, although it is now mid-day and too late to divert to Monte Cassino.

Thus a straight run north on the autostrada, with a single stop for refreshments at a servicio. We are deluged by a thunderstorm of frightening dimensions and suddenness. At least it causes a dramatic slowing of the pace of the traffic, and lasts about 10 minutes. At 1500 a road-sign indicates it is 35°.

Firenze is the same only less so than Rome. The traffic is expected therefore. The railway station proves a mystery to Desiree, but we find the Information Office and they find us a pensione, the Hotel Patrizia, occupying the upper floors of a university building.

Good location, OK room (singular), no air conditioning, 4 beds, and a bathroom. It is one (small) block from the river, and within sight of the Duomo. Very central.

Helpful staff (actually the owner) direct us to a local ristorante (Pinnochio) where the kids are a hit, and to car-parking across the river to avoid having it towed by the street-cleaning crew. However getting to the park leads me (solo) at night through a maze of one-way streets seemingly around half of Florence before finalling about 600 metres from the Pensione!! Oh well.

What will we do tomorrow?







Caserta Palace


All the photos in one place!


Palace of Caserta


Hotel Patrizia

Maps & Aerial Photos

Our thanks to all & sundry