Italy from Above – Beautiful Flying Journeys from Caserta to Tivoli (HD)

Italy from Above – Beautiful Flying Journeys from Caserta to Tivoli (HD)

Our journey begins in the province of Caserta,
where we explore a palace that succeeded in rivalling Versailles and continued an Italian
tradition of majestic water gardens. Next we encounter some of Italy’s ties to
the Second World War, from the seaside town of Anzio to an abbey in the mountains of Cassino. Following the trail of the ancient Appian
Way, we then enter Rome for an aerial excursion over its ancient ruins and its awe-inspiring
architecture, including the Colosseum, the Forum, the piazza Navora and the Palatine
Hill. From one of the most ancient cities in the
world to the most holy, we visit the sacred grounds of Vatican City. We conclude our adventure in the hills of
Tivoli with two palatial garden estates. Our excursion to the magnificent Caserta Palace,
constructed by Charles III in the mid-18th century, begins by exploring the 4 kilometre-long
garden which stretches up to the hillside. The park was designed by Caserta architect
Luigi Vantivelli and completed by his son, Carlo, in 1780. Comprised of a system of Baroque water features,
the centrepiece is the Fountain of Aeolus. An enormous promenade that spans the entire
120 hectare estate. Adjacent and towards the upper end is the
English Garden, designed in 1782 in the English style, a reaction to the formal Italianate
gardens of the time. We cover the last segments of the Park as
it ascends from the Fountain of Venus to its terminus at the Great Fountain atop of the
promenade. An aqueduct was built to bring water to this
grotto, from where it then begins its journey down the hillside. The aqueduct is 38-kilometres long and runs
through five mountains, keeping the waterfalls and other features fully operational. The water first cascades 150 meters into the
ornate basin of the Great Fountain. Here, we find famous sculptures in the form
of the Fountains of Diana and, to the left, Actaeon, which depicts the hero transformed
into a stag as wolves prepare to tear him to pieces, a penalty for gazing at Diana as
she bathed. King Charles III wanted an estate to rival
Versailles and Madrid’s Royal Palace. Although he never resided at Caserta, the result of
his vision was what the World Heritage Centre deemed the “swan song of the spectacular art
of the Baroque”. Caserta provided assembly for its king, the
court and the government. The 1200-room palace is rectangular with four inner courtyards
covering 3800 square metres. We travel North up the coast to the fishing
town of Anzio. Situated on the Lazio coast, the port was
a vital landing spot for an attack by Allied forces in World War II. The plan was to drive through to Rome, just
56km to the north, to liberate it from German forces. The ensuing battle left Anzio in ruins. However, after the war much of the town was
rebuilt, and in such a way that kept its fishing town character. And set back from the coast in the nearby
town of Nettuno is a poignant reminder of the scale of fighting that took place from
1943 to 1944. This is the Sicily-Rome American Cemetery. Rich in art, architecture and landscaping,
this vast World War II memorial covers over 30 hectares. Nearly 7900 fallen American troops are buried
here amongst the rows of Roman pines. Most of the casualties were sustained during
the liberation of Sicily in 1943, while other soldiers died in the landings of Salerno and
Anzio and the heavy fighting northward. We continue on to Cassino, at the southern
end of the Lazio region. And it’s here we catch the dramatic sight
of Monte Cassino Abbey. Since its inception in the 6th century, it
has suffered terrible fortune, repeatedly attacked, pillaged or ruined by natural disaster. During World War II the German forces used
it as a stronghold, blocking access to Rome. American led air-raids almost completely destroyed
it in 1944 during the Allied forces’ Italian campaign. The abbey, originally built by St. Benedict
in 529, was reconstructed after the war in its ancient architectural form, and finally
re-consecrated by Pope Paul VI in 1964. With relics from St. Benedict and St. Scholastica,
tourists flock to the working monastery to indulge themselves in its historical importance
and its attractive architecture. Our journey now takes us to the town of Frascati,
where we encounter a magnificent exhibition of Papal extravagance… Villa Aldobrandini. Set facing Rome, 20 kilometres away, this
dramatic building was an ostentatious display of the church’s power and authority. In 1600, Pope Clement VIII, a member of the
Aldobrandini family, acquired this site, gifting the property to his nephew, a cardinal. The highly ornate villa and grounds were constructed
during the Baroque period, at a time when Popes attempted to outdo their predecessors
with shows of grandeur, building palaces which reflected their wealth and power. This estate
served a ceremonial function for the Aldobrandinis and was not used as a family residence. During the second World War, there was significant
damage to the Villa after bombing destroyed over half of the town. Today it remains an architectural treasure
for its historical and cultural significance. The Appian Way was once the most strategic
road of ancient Rome. It’s also the site of the crucifixion of the
gladiator Spartacus whose slave uprising ended along this route. It leads us to the eternal city and capital
of the ancient empire—Rome. During his journey to Italy, German novelist
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe wrote that “only in Rome is it possible to understand Rome.” We’re now over the heart of the Italian capital
and the River Tiber – winding through the city that has influenced the world politically
and socially for 2500 years. And it’s importance lives on to this day as
the spiritual centre for the world’s billion or so catholics. The splendour of Rome’s ancient treasures
can be seen almost everywhere. From the imposing Trajan’s Column, to the
temples of the Republican period dating back over two millennia. They nestle effortlessly amongst newer landmarks,
such as the Victor Emmanuel Monument. One of the best preserved structures is the
mighty Pantheon, the former temple to all the Gods of ancient Rome. And nearby is Piazza Navona, arguably Rome’s
most beautiful square. Once a fortified city, the original walls
can still be seen today. They date back to the third century, erected
around the seven hills of Rome to protect against German invaders. Two-thirds remain intact and well-preserved,
since they were used for defence right up until the 19th century. There were 18 grand gates, such as this one,
known in ancient times as Porta Appia. Flanked by two semi-circular towers, it was
later renamed Porta San Sebastiano. The wall incorporated many existing structures
like this Egyptian-style pyramid built in 12 BC as a tomb for Caius Cestius. At the southeastern part of the ancient district
are the red-brick ruins of the Baths of Caracalla. Completed in 217 AD, and covering over 11
hectares, the massive rooms were enjoyed by Romans for over 300 years. The complex was able to accommodate up to
1600 citizens, providing not only bathing, but a library, a gymnasium, galleries, restaurants
and even brothels. Today, it hosts the Rome Opera company during
the summer, having staged the first concert of the three tenors in 1990. We arrive in the heart of the city at the
imposing and impressive Colosseum, the largest building constructed in the Roman Empire. Despite its decay, it remains a remarkable
feat of architecture and engineering. The amphitheatre held 50,000 spectators who
assembled, for no charge, in tiered seating arrangements that reflected the hierarchies
within Roman society. Below ground were rooms that contained mechanical devices and cages
for wild animals, which could be lifted to appear centre stage. Aiming to increase their popularity, the Emperors
would stage fights to the death between gladiators and animals or simply between gladiators themselves. It was made of concrete and stone yet originally
clad in marble, which was later incorporated into the construction of St. Peter’s Basilica
and other landmark buildings. In the present day, visitors are allowed to
view the interior of the arena, and, recently in 2010, the subterranean passageways were
opened to the public. The site is still used ceremoniously by the
Catholic Church on Good Friday, as a starting point for the torchlit procession led by the
Pope, known as The Way of the Cross. Although dwarfed in size by its neighbour,
the Arch of Constantine is not short of historical significance. One of three remaining imperial
triumphal arches, the edifice, commemorates Constantine’s victory in a 4th century Civil
War. Ironically, the decorations aren’t as well-preserved
as those from earlier eras — and it’s almost a symbol for the eventual fall of the Roman
Empire. We shift from the entertainment hub to the
centre of Roman public life at the Forum. For over 1000 years, this rectangular plaza
hosted elections, Senate assemblies and triumphal processions. The complex of ancient ruins includes government
buildings, temples, arches and basilicas, giving visitors some idea of the Forum’s original
layout. Perhaps no landmark in the Forum remains as
intact and well-preserved as the Arch of Septimus Severus. Erected in 203 AD to commemorate
the Emperor’s victory in Parthia, the structure originally had a flight of stairs running
through the 12 meter high centre passage. The arch became property of a church in the
Middle Ages, and unlike other monuments such as the Colosseum, its parts were protected
and not incorporated into new buildings. According to legend, Rome’s founding dates
back to 753 BC when twin brothers Romulus and Remus settled on this site, marking the
beginnings of the Roman Kingdom. Today, the Palatine Hill is an open-air museum
containing ruins of large imperial buildings, such as the Palace of Septimus Severus. During the Republican era, the top of the
Palatine Hill became the exclusive residential area for the rich and powerful, not least
for the amazing vistas over the city. Augustus, Cicero and Marc Antony all resided
here. One of Rome’s modern landmarks is the 18th
century Spanish Steps, connecting a piazza to a 16th century French church. This symmetrical and elegant structure has
twelve flights of stairs with total of 138 steps, and is the widest staircase in Europe. Nearby is the oval-shaped square, Piazza del
Popolo. Tourists flock to see the ancient Egyptian obelisk in the centre, but it was
the Porta del Popolo that made an impression upon those arriving in the Renaissance era.
The large gate welcomed pilgrims entering the city along the Via Flaminia, which connected
Rome to the Adriatic coast. Another example of the opulent palaces built
by wealthy families of Popes, is The Villa Borghese. Situated on the outskirts of Rome at the time
of its construction, it was built by a cardinal who was the nephew of Pope Paul V, and to
this day showcases the Borghese family’s collection of paintings, sculptures and antiquities. Erected during the late renaissance in a classical
style, the Villa became a publicly-owned gallery in 1902 Heading toward Vatican City, we stop first
at Castel Sant’ Angelo, a national museum that once stood as a refuge for Popes facing
an imminent threat. Originally a mausoleum, the castle was fortified and incorporated
into the Aurelian Wall, transforming it into a Papal fortress and luxurious residence. Occupying less than half a square kilometre
and completely encircled by Rome, is Vatican City. It’s the world’s smallest country and spiritual
centre for over a billion Catholics worldwide. St. Peter’s Basilica was built on Vatican
Hill as a shrine to St. Peter, one of the twelve apostles and considered the first Pope. He died as a martyr and was buried on the
site in 64 AD. Construction of the present buildings commenced
in the early 1500s. The greatest Italian architects of the era spent over 100 years building the
new basilica, and it was finally re-consecrated in 1626. Although millions flock to Vatican City each
year, it is home to only 800 residents. Arguably the best panorama of the Eternal
City is from the base of giant lantern that caps the oculus atop the ribbed vault of St.
Peter’s Basilica. A masterful collaboration of between Bramante
and Michelangelo, the massive cupola has a diameter of 42 meters and rests on four huge
pillars, which support a cylindrical drum that features 16 windows. At a height of 136 metres, this crowning piece
is the tallest dome in the world. Such a magnificent and imposing structure
as St. Peter’s would be incomplete without a grandiose esplanade to welcome those taking
in its splendour. The Baroque-style piazza was designed by Bernini
in the 17th century. The elliptical circus that slopes towards
the Egyptian obelisk at its centre, is surrounded by massive colonnades symbolising the Church’s
outstretched arms greeting its communicants. Bernini also sculpted the 140 statues of saints
that perch on top of the balustrades of each colonnade. Historian Banister Fletcher referred
to the piazza as the “greatest of all atriums before the greatest of all churches in Christendom.” As we prepare to leave Rome, we capture yet
another fantastic approach to viewing the city in the form of a hot air balloon, tethered
about a half kilometre above the beautiful Borghese gardens. The vista is our last look
at the Italian capitol, as we continue east into the hills toward Tivoli. We take a slight detour, southeast of Rome,
to a sacred grotto in the hills of Subiaco. Built into the cliff on Mount Taleo, is this
brown-hued stone monastery that enshrines the cave, deemed the Sacro Speco, where St.
Benedict lived as a hermit for three years, before organizing his first monastic community
a few kilometres from here. Most of the monastery’s Gothic style buildings
were constructed in the 13th and 14th centuries, hundreds of years after St. Benedict’s lifetime. The monastery is still active, and open for
visitors to pray and explore. And tucked away is an inconspicuous entrance
that leads to the holiest place in the sanctuary. This is the portal for the chapel that contains
the sacred cave of St. Benedict where he spent his hermitage in 500 AD. Benedict along with his twin sister, St. Scholastica,
resided in the valley for twenty years, founding 13 monasteries and nunneries between them
before moving to Monte Cassino to spend another two decades in service. Resting among cypress and olive trees in the
ancient town of Tivoli are the ruins of the Villa Adriana, a great complex built as a
summer retreat for Emperor Hadrian in the early 2nd century. Excavations began in the 16th century, revealing
the remains of some of the finest Roman architecture. The grounds cover a vast area of 120 hectares,
which included designs inspired by Hadrian’s travels to Greece and Egypt… …like the Pecile, this piazza with a central
pool, inspired by the Athens landmark, Stoa Poikile. In total there were over 30 buildings, including
palaces, baths, a theatre, temples, libraries and living quarters. The most ambitious creation was Canopus, a
sanctuary of the god Serapis along the Nile’s delta near Alexandria. Designers crafted a
canal over 100 metres long and this artificial grotto called Serapeum. Perhaps Hadrian’s favourite refuge was the
Maritime Theatre, a round pool with an island, which contained a small house, an atrium,
baths, and a library. Surrounded by columns in a classic ionic style,
the theatre is assumed to be the private studio, where Hadrian withdrew to indulge himself
in painting and architecture. Our final destination brings us to another
palatial estate in a series of extravagant 17th century villas, in the hills that surround
the Roman Campagna. These are the magnificent water gardens of
the Villa d’Este in Tivoli. Tourists marvel at the clever irrigation which
feeds the 500 fountains and water displays, integrated harmoniously into the natural sloping
landscape, which covers an area of 4.5 hectares. Very few gardens can compare to the innovation
of the fountains and basins of the Villa d’Este, perhaps a reason why European gardens, from
Portugal to Poland, would be modelled after the estate’s landscaping, such as this wall
of water called the Hundred Fountains. Cardinal Ippolito d’Este built the villa following
a failed bid for the papacy, desiring, in his own words, a garden suitable for “one
of the wealthiest ecclesiastics of the sixteenth century.” The result were gardens that blended ancient
artistry with a modern mannerist style, creating an Italian oasis to be treasured for centuries. A perfect place… to end this journey.

58 thoughts on “Italy from Above – Beautiful Flying Journeys from Caserta to Tivoli (HD)

  1. Compliments to the authors and speakerman of this film.  It`s the edgest near excellence,never seen such a premium tube !  THIS is absolutely more exciting than 100 Oscars of the accademy .  Thanx for being us, the pubblic, awarded by your wonderful job.   Many greetings from Buenos Aires, Argentina .

  2. That really is one of the most banal commentaries I have ever listened too.  Also inaccurate and poorly read.

    The commentary was marched by equally incompetent direction…….

    What a waste of lovely locations.

  3. can some tell me name of music or soundtrack when Rome is introduced in this vdo.
    ROME – only in rome possible to understand ROME !!!

  4. You didn't mention that the builder of Caserta (Charles III of Spain) also built the Royal Palace in Madrid and was also the King of Naples and Sicily.

  5. Very good video! Thank you! I like it when the history is included in a film like this one! Makes it much more lively and understandable! Thanks again!

  6. Too bad there was nothing said about II Vittoriano. I know it has bad reputation among the natives but the building is still astonishing and can't be simply ignored on the whole landscape of the city.

  7. The architect of the Caserta Palace was VANVITELLI not Vantivelli! His father was the Dutch painter Van Wittell Italianised as Vanvitelli.

  8. very good work – only minor historical mistake. they germans did not use it under world war 2 untill after the allied had bombed it. otherwise i love your world from above.

  9. can some tell me name of music or soundtrack when Rome is introduced in this vdo. ROME – only in rome possible to understand ROME !!!

  10. The biggest building ever constructed in the Roman Empire is not the coliseum. It’s the Circus Maximus which is now almost completely lost. It could have contained 250000 thousands people so can be considered the biggest vinu ever

  11. What is the name of the music that sounds when they present Caserta? 1:31

    Qual è il nome della musica suonata quando la Reggia di Caserta è presentata? 1:31

  12. Along with this great #YouTube DRONE view of Italy: you may want to see some #StreetView of #ITALY HIGHLIGHTS via #Google on this amazing page: …

  13. رومّا

    لّأّسّتّوّيّنّة عّلّىٰ عّرّشّ اّلّحّنّيّةّ
    إنما أنا مُنذر ومامن إلٰهٌ إلا اللهُ الواحدُ القهار
    أتحدث عن كُرسي لمحراب في بازليك سان بيتر

  14. A brilliant documentary all credit to everyone involved, very interesting please make more thank you very much, regards and respect to you.

  15. What amazing video, didn't know half of this existed and I've been to Rome 3 times. Maybe because Italy has such a splendid history the spans more than 2500 years but they barely upkeep and promote so many amazing attractions.
    The VIlla Aldobrandi and Caserta would be major tourists attractions in any other European country, massive upkeep and tourist experience, in Italy they look neglected and not even significant tourist attractions. Even Monte Cassion Abby, should much more famous, for it's beauty, location, history incuding in WW2.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *