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.