When you come to visit or stay in the Venetian, make sure you enter through the main hotel entrance where some gondoliers with black and white stripe shirts with red satin belt greet and open doors for guests. You are about to witness one of the most impressive sights—an interior built with marble floor and columns, and its ceilings decorated with fresco paintings of famous Venetian Renaissance artists, the splendor of which is only surpassed by those of cathedrals like the St. Mark’s Church and palaces like the Versailles.
The first thing you will notice is a sphere of golden rings held by mermaids and lions in a fountain. This is a large replica of an apparatus known as Armillary Spheres which was used as a navigational tool.
Above the Armillary Sphere is a domed ceiling with Giambattista Tiepolo’s four heroic episodes from Greek mythology, painted around 1725 for Palazzo Sandi. The characters portrayed there include Orpheus, Bellerophon, Minerva, and Mercury.
To enter the hotel casino and suites, you must pass through a long, splendid hallway decorated with marble floor which appears as stairs in three dimension. It is an exact replica of the Church of Gesuiti of Venice built in 1728.
Above, on the ceiling, are four fresco paintings, replicas of paintings by four different artists—Tiepolo, Rici, Pellogrini, and Bambino—of 17th an 18th centuries. The photo below is the "Infant Cupid with Jupiter and Juno" by Sebastiano Ricci, painted in 1705. It is easy to mistake these for frescos of the Sistine Chapel painted by Michaelangelo because of their similar style.
Past the casino floor, two escalators lead up to the shopping center on the second floor. As you go up one of the escalators, you cannot help but notice a huge fresco painting on the ceiling—a replica of "Apotheosis of Venice" by Veronese. It is said that this replica took over one year to complete.
Again, knowing these works of art are not the original, I was nevertheless awestruck to have a cultural and aesthetic experience of being in Venice without going to Venice.
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New Orleans, Louisiana
August 19, 2008
New York, New York
February 14, 2008
April 5, 2007
From journal Las Vegas Road Trip
December 29, 2006
From journal 40th Anniversary in Vegas
San Bruno, California
January 31, 2006
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Merritt Island, Florida
August 14, 2005
From journal Las Vegas - Disney for Adults?
May 2, 2005
Performances begin in St. Mark's Square at 11:30am and continue throughout the day, until 8:30pm.
Click here to enjoy a streaming video of this performance: http://kenko-supplement.com/vegascafe-english-Venetian-grand%20canal.htm
From journal What a Entertainers!
December 27, 2004
When you enter the shops through the front door, the size and detail in the ceiling paintings is absolutely breathtaking (see photo). The front carport of the hotel has an equally grand ceiling. All the decor mimics things that are actually in Venice; my sister, who has been to the real Venice, immediately recognized the things in my Las Vegas Venetian photos. I also love the flooring here; it is a bunch of intersecting cubes that I think is better than the ugly, large floral motifs on most casino floors. Domes with oculars (circular skylights), chandeliers, and forced-perspective murals are scattered throughout the Venetian.
The way the Grand Canal Shoppes are built around both sides of the canal, with occasional bridges crossing over and restaurants with decks, does make you feel like you are walking through old Italian streets. The strolling street performers and living statues also add to the atmosphere.
The singing gondola rides do seem romantic and add to the overall atmosphere, but the indoor ones are $13 per person and outside in the canal, in front of the hotel, they are $12.50 each. I was disappointed in the short length of the canals, so I decided that the price wasn't worth it.
The air in the Venetian was very stuffy and unbearable for my slightly asthmatic boyfriend, so we will never spend the night here. The lighting in the Grand Canal Shoppes is also a very odd color that doesn't look like normal indoor or outdoor light; it enhances the fakeness of the store facades that are maybe lacking in the realistic detail that Caesar's and Paris have. The blue color of the canals is also extremely bright and fake-looking. I really felt like the combo of stuffy air, odd lighting, and fake facades and water prevented me from temporarily suspending the reality that I was indoors in Las Vegas.
From journal Getting the Most Out of My Money in Las Vegas
Fountain Valley, California
May 7, 2003
From journal For Those Who Prefer Culturedness and Elegance In Vegas
It would be pitiful for visitors to come to the Venetian and merely acknowledge that they are at a hotel that looks like Venice. Take some time to know what landmarks of Venice have been replicated and why they are famous, and you will appreciate the Venetian much more.
It is said that the hotel planners photographed and scaled the actual landmarks in a painstaking effort to replicate them with accuracy. I checked it out and it is true, with exception of St. Mark’s Square and the Grand Canal, which could not be replicated exactly due to its large area. It is also said that the planners replicated all the major landmarks except St. Mark’s Church for a good reason—well, just imagine a casino inside a church, although, having a 24/7 cathedral in the middle of the Strip might not have been a bad idea for those who need to make immediate confessions after gambling and sinful pleasures.
Among many, I have listed some of the most famous landmarks as a brief preview:
Doge’s Palace: A palace built for the Doge, the civic leader of Venice. Destroyed by fire four times and rebuilt. Later, it became the seat of the government and residences of many other government officials. Now a museum with incredible works of art and decoration, which should not be missed if you ever visit Venice, Italy. The façade replicated in the Venetian was completed in 1424 in Italian Gothic style. In the Venetian, it serves as a façade for entrance into the casino and shopping center.
Campanile Tower: The Bell-tower of St. Marks Church. The current form designed in 1496, built and rebuilt numerous times. The tallest structure in Venice collapsed in 1902 and was rebuilt in 1912. In the Venetian, it stands 315 feet tall (as does the one in Venice) at the entrance of the hotel.
The Grand Canal: Original settlers of Venice built the city on tiny islands and lagoon to fend off invading Huns led by Attila in the 5th and 6th Centuries. The canal divides the city into two major halves. In the Venetian, there are canals inside and outside not connected to each other. You can take a gondola ride in either one.
The Rialto Bridge: Just remember one thing about this bridge. Legend says if you kiss your lover on the bridge, your love will last forever--a good excuse for guys to kiss their girlfriends. In the Venetian, it connects the hotel and Campanile Tower over the hotel driveway.
St. Mark’s Square: A large plaza near St. Mark’s Church and Doge’s Palace. In the Venetian, it is located within the covered shopping center, but you can look up and still see a sky.
To get a detailed explanation of these landmarks and many more, check with the concierge if a self-guided tour is available. If you think going to Italy is out of your reach, visiting the Venetian may just be the next best thing.