The Venetian in Vegas
Lagoons in the Deserts of Nevada
By: Susan Cohn - Jul 14, 2015
VEGAS. The Venetian Hotel began with a honeymoon. Las Vegas Sands Corporation’s founding chairman and CEO Sheldon G. Adelson and his wife Miriam were on their honeymoon in Venice, Italy, when they came up with the idea to bring the most famous aspects of that city to Las Vegas.
Keith Salwoski, executive director of public relations for The Venetian and The Palazzo Las Vegas, said, "The Venetian was built by Mr. Sheldon Adelson as a gift to his wife. The two honeymooned in Venice and Dr. Miriam Adelson fell so in love with the city, Mr. Adelson decided to recreate it for her here in Las Vegas. Mr. Adelson was very careful to ensure that the Las Vegas version was created as accurate as possible, and not a caricature of Venice. Designers spent a lot of time in Venice to get it just right."
Today, visitors can enjoy taking a leisurely stroll through architectural replicas of various Venetian landmarks, including the Palazzo Ducale, Piazza San Marco, Piazzetta di San Marco, the Lion of Venice Column & the Column of Saint Theodore, St Mark's Campanile, and the Rialto Bridge.
TALK A WALK: SELF-GUIDED TOURS SHOW YOU THE SIGHTS.
Pick up a copy of a detailed 15-page illustrated self-guided tour of the art and architecture of the Venetian at the concierge. The walk starts in The Venetian lobby at the glorious golden Armillary Sphere, of the type used for centuries to study the sky and the celestial system. Installed inside the dramatic dome above the sphere is a dazzling reproduction of Giambattista Tiepolo’s Four Heroic Episodes. The original was painted around 1725 for Palazzo Sandi in Venice and the duplicate was hand painted in the hotel’s dome by Italian artisans. The tour proceeds through the hotel’s main colonnade, lined with 25-foot-high columns of solid Botticino marble. The Bridge of Sighs, the façade of the Doge’s Palace, the Campanile, each of which faithfully represents its original counterpart. Along the way are faithful reproductions of frescoes, sculptures and bas reliefs by Paolo Veronese and other Italian masters. At the core of The Venetian is St. Mark’s Square, or a carefully crafted semblance thereof, complete with sidewalk cafes and a seemingly vast (indoor) sky spread with clouds whose colors change to reflect the time of day.
GLIDE IN A GONDOLA
No trip to Venice — or The Venetian — would be complete without a graceful and romantic glide down the Grand Canal in an authentic Venetian gondola. Float beneath bridges, beside cafes, under balconies and through the vibrant Venetian streetscape as a singing gondolier takes you for a ride like no other. Two gondola routes are available: the outside gondola that goes under the famous Rialto Bridge and by St. Marks Campanile and ?the inside route through a lake past the Grand Canal Shoppes that surround St. Mark's Square. Both private and shared rides are available. (Ask about the white gondola for weddings.)
The Venetian (along with the adjacent Sands Expo Convention Center and The Palazzo Hotel and Casino Resort) is part of the largest five-diamond hotel and resort complex in the world, with 4,049 suites, 4,059 hotel rooms, and a 120,000-square-foot casino. It is located at 3355 Las Vegas Blvd. South, Las Vegas, NV. More information may be found at http://www.venetian.com.
"A journey is like marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it." John Steinbeck.
Susan Cohn is a member of the North American Travel Journalists Association, Bay Area Travel Writers, and the International Food, Wine& Travel Writers Association. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. More of her stories may be found at http://ifwtwa.org/author/susan-cohn.