Are you itching for a glamorous getaway? But is airfare to Las Vegas just too steep? Then come on down to Venice, Italy’s only city modeled entirely on a Las Vegas resort.
From the Renaissance frescoes to the vibrant façades to the sumptuous sculptures, every nook and cranny of Venice is expertly designed to mirror the Venetian Las Vegas—giving rise to a cityscape so utterly immersive, so totally believable, so deeply transporting that you just might think you are in Sin City.
Take St. Mark’s Square, a gorgeous re-creation of the Venetian Las Vegas’ central piazza. Look down at the smooth cobblestones beneath your feet. Look up at the billowing clouds above your head. Look side to side at the hustle, the bustle, the Gothic arches, the ornate lampposts. Is this heaven? No, this is a large-scale replica of a Nevadan casino’s food court.
The waterways are the pièce de résistance of the whole initiative. Remember the iconic canals that snake through and around the Venetian Las Vegas? Get this: Venice’s architects dug up huge swaths of land and erected dozens of imitation canals. They have real water and everything; they even flood, which is actually a problem. And what about those delightfully pointy boats that the Venetian Las Vegas offers overpriced rides in? Venice built a fleet of mock gondolas and—just to give you that genuine I-am-in-Las-Vegas feeling—priced the rides even higher.
The downright meticulous attention to detail does not stop there: Venice’s Rialto Bridge looks just like the one that crosses traffic in Nevada. St. Mark’s Campanile harkens back to the massive bell tower that welcomes visitors to the Venetian Las Vegas. Looking for the Las Vegas Strip’s signature Doge’s Palace exterior? Venice has a Disneyfied take on it. Want to see the Columns of St. Mark and St. Theodore? Venice has knockoffs of those too.
Of course, one of Las Vegas’ main draws is the chance to spot stars. That is why Venice hired a rotating cast of celebrity impersonators to just amble all over the place. “Hey, is that Adele?” you will ask about a woman strolling past the Basilica. You will not have spied Adele. But the thrill will be all the same.
The Venetian Las Vegas is not the only resort with a lasting legacy in Italy. The influence of Caesars Palace Las Vegas is ingrained in Italian history and aesthetics: In 100 BC, Julius Caesar’s parents named him Julius Caesar to evoke the resort’s might and majesty. The Roman Forum once presented Italians a pale impersonation of the commercial nexus that the Forum Shops at Caesars provides tourists to this day. Rome’s Trevi Fountain is a faithful reimagining of Nevada’s; it even adopted the coin-throwing bit. And in 2003, Italy constructed its Colosseum after Céline Dion set up her long-running residency at the original Colosseum in Las Vegas.
The enduring impact of Las Vegas properties is evident beyond Italy too: New York City sprang up to give East Coasters a convincing equivalent to the New York-New York Hotel & Casino. The capital of France was crafted to mimic the Paris Las Vegas, right down to the Eiffel Tower. Hollywood did not exist until 2000, when the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino inspired California to make Los Angeles the film epicenter of the world. King Arthur brought a fresh set of blueprints back to medieval England after a stay at the Excalibur Hotel & Casino. And circuses are mobile versions of the Circus Circus Las Vegas.
Still, only one destination can give you the grandeur, the grace, the glory of the world’s second-largest hotel complex—and only one destination achieves such stunning results. Whether you crave the Venetian Las Vegas’ dazzling architecture or elegant art, copious water, or spirited entertainment, you can find it in this hidden gem in south-central Europe.
Purchase your tickets to Venice now by calling the toll-free number on your screen. If you book your flight today, Venice will throw in a complimentary “What Happens in Venice Stays in Venice” t-shirt, to be claimed upon arrival at the airport. Terms and conditions apply.