The history of the Royal Site of Carditello is closely linked to the Bourbon Crown, of which it represents one of the main delights, as well as a prestigious symbol of the excellence that the Kingdom of Naples was able to earn, at a European level, in the field of agriculture and farming.
During his reign, Carlo III ordered the creation of a new prized breed of horse by crossing Turkish stallions with local mares at a large estate belonging to the Count of Acerra, in the heart of Campania Felix, which was already being used for fine agricultural and dairy production. The result of this cross-breeding was the Persian Horse, which stood out for its elegance, dexterity and speed and was the pride of the royal cavalry. In keeping with his father, his son Ferdinando, who succeeded him on the throne, was also committed to the development of the estate that had already been established.
Initially not intended to take on government duties as the third-born son, Fernando of Bourbon was able to spend his youth free from the traditional educational rigour reserved for heirs to the throne. When events led to his accession to the throne, his younger age allowed him to cultivate his father's passion for hunting and horses for a few more years.
In 1759, Fernando VI of Bourbon, King of Spain, died without leaving an heir. His throne was taken over by his brother Carlo, already King of Naples and Sicily. However, the succession to the Neapolitan throne was not so simple: the first-born Filippo, declared mentally unfit, had to be excluded, while the second son, Carlo Antonio, had to follow his father to Spain in order to secure an heir. As a result, the third-born Fernando became king at only eight years of age and was then supported by a Regency Council until he came of age.
In 1787, the architect Francesco Collicini, a pupil of Vanvitelli, was commissioned to build a new neoclassical building on the estate. After its completion, the site reached its peak of splendour thanks to the decorations and furnishings entrusted to the painter Jacob Philipp Hackert, already known for his work at the Royal Palace of Caserta and the Royal Site of San Leucio.
Over the years, the site was progressively emptied of much of its heritage, but its existence continued to be divided between a flourishing productive activity and the use of the large spaces for the sovereigns' hunting trips.
A true symbol of Bourbon power, the site was occupied by Garibaldi's troops in 1860 and handed over to the Savoia family following the unification of Italy.
From 1920 onwards, ownership of the site passed to various state bodies, who managed it with varying fortunes until 2004, when it passed to the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism. In 2016, after lengthy and extensive restoration work, which rescued the estate from the degradation that had accumulated over the years, the site was finally entrusted to the Carditello Foundation, established by an agreement between the Ministry, the Campania Region, the Prefect of Caserta and the Municipality of San Tammaro.