STORY: A Night in Casino di Venezia

A Night in Casino di Venezia

Nestled on Venice’s Grand Canal, the lavish mansion of the Palazzo Ca’ Vendramin Calergi is an iconic structure that is considered to be one of the most elegant examples of Venetian Renaissance architecture. The building is a prime tourist spot in Venice as it is home to the oldest casino in the world, the Casino di Venezia (Venice Casino).

The casino that occupies the largest part of the palace moved to its luxurious home in the late 1950s. In 1959 the casino became part of the building having moved from the Theatre Saint Moses on the Lido di Venezia. Tango Italia reveals that the theatre wing housing the casino was a space for theatre audiences to play during intermissions.

Its current home is no less impressive. Construction on the Ca’ Vendramin Calergi began in 1481 by architect Mauro Codussi and was completed in 1509. The building has had a fascinating history, and has been home to many of Italy’s nobility, as well as the famed German composer Richard Wagner (who also died in it). The building is home to the Wagner Museum. The Ca’ Vendramin Calergi has changed hands a number of times, and was owned by the Vendramin family for over a century (and this is where the building gets its name). The Venice City Council finally acquired it in 1946.

From its very early days, the Casino di Venezia provided a haven for the city’s socialites. Today the casino has preserved that atmosphere, and offers visitors the chance to experience a night of luxury through its wide variety of games and fine dining restaurants. It has rooms for classic elegant French games, including Chemin de Fer, Trente et Quarante and roulette. It also has tables dedicated to Caribbean Poker, and American favourites such a Texas Hold’em and blackjack. Frommer’s Travel Guide shows how the casino has 500 electronic games, and an entire floor of slot machines. The casino has survived for almost four centuries, but more importantly it has survived the rise of online gaming.

WHAT TODAY

Today’s online gaming scene offers ultra-realistic experiences that closely replicate the experience of setting foot inside a physical casino. Leading gaming portal Foxy Bingo uses virtual casino croupiers in their live games to deal cards and spin roulette wheels in real-time. VR technology is also being used to transport gamers to fully realised digital casinos that provide an incredibly lifelike experience. A knock-on effect of the shift to this new technology and online platforms has been the closure of many physical casinos, which cannot keep up with the latest trends. In contrast, the Casino di Venezia has survived and remains one of the premier luxury casinos in the world. It has achieved this by embracing new technologies while also holding on to the original glamour that made its name.

The Palazzo Ca’ Vendramin Calergi on the Grand Canal is one of the most venerated structures in Venice. Here at iEspressoLIFE we have explored many more Venetian treasures that can be found along the famous Grand Canal, such as the luxurious 16th century Palazzo Barbarigo, which is only a short ferry ride away from the Casino di Venezia. Much like the Palazzo Barbarigo, the Casino di Venezia has retained much of the original renaissance architecture and interior design, and blends it seamlessly with modern elements.

The fact that the Casino di Venezia still stands as a symbol of Venetian culture makes it a must visit for anyone coming to Venice. A night at the Casino di Venezia is not to be missed.