The very first thing I did on my first day in Italy was take an 8am Eurostar train for 28 Euro’s from Rome Termini station to Caserta which is 25 kilometres north of Naples. I had intended to get the 6.27 local train but arrived just a few minutes before and without knowledge of how to get a ticket or which platform to go to I decided to not risk it. Ironically, I still got there earlier than I would have but at three times the price! The reason for this journey was to visit Caserta Palace which is luckily opposite the station and was used as Queen Amidala’s Royal Palace in Naboo in Star Wars Episodes I and II as well as filling in for the inside of the Vatican in Mission Impossible III and more recently Angels and Demons. Having done my research before the trip it really was quite a sight to see those stairs and the huge window that appeared in the Star Wars prequels. I had a quick look around the palace and as impressive and beautiful as it was I just wasn’t that interested in any of the exhibits and pictures on display. However, the palace gardens were very nice and just stretched on for ages and ages as I found to my cost when I walked them in the mid-morning sunshine thinking the end fountain was much closer than it was. With the need to move on and visit Pompeii later that day I took the shuttle bus back to the palace. Back at the station I had to endure Italian inefficiency and poor service as the machines weren’t working and so I had to queue up at the one window that was open just to get a ticket the short distance to Napoli.
You can see my Italia ’09 photos here.