Palace of Capodimonte

Naples, Italy

Palace of Capodimonte

The Royal Palace of Capodimonte (Italian Reggia di Capodimonte) is a large palazzo in Naples, Italy. It was formerly the summer residence and hunting lodge of the Bourbon kings of the Two Sicilies, one of the two royal palaces in Naples. Today, it comprises the National Museum of Capodimonte and the Royal Forest (Italian Museo e Real Bosco di Capodimonte). The palace was constructed on its somewhat cooler hilltop location (Capodimonte means "top of the hill") just outside the city, with urban Naples ultimately expanding around it.

In 1738, King Charles VII of Naples and Sicily (later Charles III, king of Spain) decided to build a hunting lodge on the Capodimonte hill. He then decided that he would instead build a grand palace (a Royal Palace, as in Italian Reggia means Royal), partly because his existing residence, the Palace of Portici, was too small to accommodate his court, and partly because he needed somewhere to house the fabulous Farnese art collection which he had inherited from his mother, Elisabetta Farnese, last descendant of the sovereign ducal family of Parma.

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