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Carditello and Cardito
The following paragraph is from my earlier entry on the hunting lodge (a smaller Royal Palace, really), the building known simply as Carditello:
Debate and struggle over the restoration of Carditello continues. The foundations for the building were laid in 1787 roughly in the center of a vast area original acquired by Charles III of Bourbon. The area was named Cardito, probably from the cardellino, the bird (cardinal). There was a local village named Cardito, today a town of about 20,000 and 15 km SW of the royal lodge, itself. Though most of the area has been severely overbuilt since WWII, in the 1700s, there was nothing really there except land that fit into Charles’ master-plan to develop the entire area between Caserta with its new palace and Naples, the two centers even being joined by a broad highway. Cardito, with Carditello at the center, was to become a vast tract for agriculture, animal breeding and even early industry, somewhat along the lines of San Leucio, the progressive farming and early-industrial collective (also the brain-child of Charles) adjacent to the palace in Caserta. Charles’ plans were expanded by his son, Ferdinand IV. History quickly overtakes plans to build kingdoms “for the ages,” however, and a list of why only some of Charles’ plans came to fruition would include intense friction between the monarchy and the landed gentry, who were alarmed at the monarchy’s plans to convert (through expropriation) their properties into one giant royal collective farm; also there was the great expense (for example, the huge white elephant, the Albergo dei Poveri--that giant royal Poor House in Naples almost broke the bank all by itself); republican revolution in 1799; the Napoleonic Wars; political turmoil in the early 19th century; and the unification of Italy. That’s the short list.
update: Jan 2014. The Carditello property has been acquired by the ministry of cultural affairs. See this link.
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