Italy in Nevada

After 16 months of pandemic-induced silence, Las Vegas is now reopening to its full capacity, and people are responding. In fact, in March, McCarran Airport reported a 60% increase in passengers compared to the previous month, a trend that is expected to continue for the rest of the year. With the recent developments, many tourists will once again get to enjoy the sights and sounds of Sin City — arguably the most iconic of which is the Bellagio.

The Bellagio is a luxury hotel, casino, and resort that opened on the 15th of October 1998. It cost $1.6 billion to build which makes the Bellagio one of the most expensive hotels ever built, with its most notable feature being the eight-acre lake in front of the building, which houses the iconic Fountains of Bellagio.

The Architecture

Built on the original site of the Dunes Hotel and Casino, this lavishly breathtaking Five AAA Diamond property hosts the rich and famous. The casino resort is the product of a successful collaboration between Steve Wynn, a billionaire real estate developer, and David Hersey, an award-winning lighting designer. It is heavily inspired by the Lake Como town of Bellagio in Italy, introducing the Italian spirit to the Nevada desert.

The architectural and design characteristics of the hotel are indeed reminiscent of Tuscany, with the pathway to the lobby covered in stone tiles similar to Italian streets. The use of cast iron columns and arches to support the skylight and coffered ceiling was also widely seen in Italy, especially in the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century. Once inside the lobby, an assemblage of floral ornaments greets the guests to a romantic replica of a Tuscany village. To provide variety to this cultural influence, a pair of Foo Dog statues, symbolizing prosperity and success, guard the entrance.


The Amenities

The Bellagio is famous for its fanfare of 1,200 water jets erupting up to 240 feet in the air, choreographed to the rhythm of music and lights. The shows take place in the afternoon until midnight during 15 to 30 minutes intervals. And until 2010, the Fountains of Bellagio were the largest of its kind in the world. However, just recently it was dethroned by the Dubai Bay Fountain, as well as Okada Manila. Behind the colorful water shows is the 36-floor main tower, which houses more than 3,900 luxurious rooms and suites.

Of course, with Sin City being synonymous with casinos, the Bellagio also offers plenty of gaming opportunities for those looking to experience the best that Las Vegas has to offer. Aside from a 122,000-sq. ft. casino floor, the Bellagio also houses one of the best poker rooms in Las Vegas, known for its exciting high-stakes games and upscale clientele. In fact, it is not uncommon to run into a celebrity or two!

Besides the Fountains and the casino, the place also has its Gallery of Fine Art, which displays artworks from numerous museums and private collections around the world. “Picasso: Creatures and Creativity” and “Warhol Out West” are just some of the gallery’s past exhibitions. This month, the gallery opened a new exhibit entitled “Leather Throwers: Celebrating the World of Boxing Through Art,” which combines boxing-themed art with memorabilia from Nevada’s rich boxing history.

Lastly, another outstanding amenity is the 14,000-square-foot Conservatory & Botanical Garden that highlights each of the four seasons. This summer, a new Conservatory exhibit is on display, called the “Eco: A Season of Earthly Awareness,” which emphasizes the beauty of nature. The display will run through August 28.

The Bellagio has been a cornerstone of entertainment in Las Vegas since its inception. In fact, it has made regular appearances in pop culture and Hollywood films, cementing its status as one of the most famous pieces of architecture in the world. With travel finally open to Americans, be sure you do not miss out on visiting a taste of Italy in Nevada!

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