Monday, February 27, 2012

The Venetian @ Christmas

Visiting Las Vegas near the Christmas season (this was just at Thanksgiving) is always fun since you get to see all the holiday decorations put up (not to mention the Christmas sales!). The Venetian Resort was all decked out with a giant lighted Christmas tree standing outside.

The replica of the Rialto bridge in Venice is in the spotlight for the Christmas musical performance that takes place every so often. I got there just in time to just catch the end of it. On the right is a replica of the famous Campanile bell tower in St Mark's square in Venice

A giant Christmas tree made of balloon set up in the square outside of the resort hotel.

Another shot of the bell tower where you can actually visit Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum. On the right is a colourful 'Winter in Venice' theme replete with lighted gondolas and snowflake-shaped floodlights dancing on the Venetian palace-style facades.

The Doges palace facade is also replicated here:

As you enter the main hall of the resort hotel, you can see a frescoed ceiling similar to those seen in Europe.  Of course, the artwork is a lot less 'professional' =P

I was rather hungry at this point so I dropped into Trattoria Reggino, an italian restaurant among the Venetian shops. I ordered a shrimp pasta and my friend had a clam pasta with garlic bread served on the side. The tomato clam pasta was decent although the clams were a bit on the salty side. The garlic bread was totally seeped with olive oil which was great for me as I'm a big an and with the garlic, it was delicious. The shrimp pasta was pretty good as well although I was personally hoping there would be more shrimp as it was soooooooo bouncy!

As you walk further into the shops at the Venetian, you'll see the Venice style canals continuing in with gondola's gliding past with tourists aplenty. Near the back, the 'streets' eventually reach a replica of St Mark's Square in Venice, albeit perpetually under blue skies and without the pigeon nightmare at the real square. Granted, standing at the real square gives you a sense of history, culture, grandiosity and authenticity that you just can't get in Vegas, no matter how good the replica.

That's not to say that the square wasn't nicely decorated of course, just felt a bit contrived, particularly with the unnaturally lighted blue sky overhead and the clear blue waters of the Venetian canals below.

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