Venice, Italy is a place that most of us have on our bucket lists, whether for a romantic getaway or to visit historic buildings. A prime example of a single piece of history in the heart of Venice, right on the Grand Canal, is the world’s first casino.
Known as the Casino di Venezia, the building opened in 1638, but at first the 15th century palace was built with different intentions…
If a plane ticket to Italy sounds a little far-fetched, then fear not, because not only can you play a variety of classic games like Roulette and Blackjack at an online casino, but we’re on the point to take you on a whirlwind tour of the Casino di Venezia.
The original building
The three-story palace that stands proudly on the Grand Canal was designed by architect Mauro Codussi, at the request of an Italian nobleman named Andrea Loredan.
The building captures the beauty of Renaissance architecture, displaying wealth and grandeur through frescoed ceilings, paintings by famous Italian painters, and handcrafted walls by famous artists.
Saint Moses Theater
The building was built with the intention of housing a theater – the Saint Moses Theater. This one was opened in 1638, this is where the history of our casino begins.
It was during the intermissions of the plays that spectators and actors ventured into a second wing to perform. This gambling establishment was known as Ca’Vendramin Calergi.
The idea was that this casino was accessible to people of all classes, but in reality only the wealthy could afford to adhere to the smart dress code and betting requirements.
Prior to this, there was no need to legalize gambling, but when the Saint Moses Theater sparked the start of the casino craze in the 1700s, local authorities decided to regulate the activities in order to tax them.
Despite this success, the government decided to ban gambling in 1774 and the casino was forced to close.
From 1774 to 1959, there was no casino in this now iconic building. In fact, it housed the Italian king and the royal family for a time.
The palace was sold several times over the years, most recently to the famous German composer Richard Wagner, who rested there from 1858 until his death in 1883.
In 1946, the building became state property of the city. It was renovated and reopened as a casino in 1959 – the Casino di Venezia – paying homage to its beginnings.
Visit the casino
Nowadays, the Casino di Venezia is still open to the public. Not only can you explore the history within the walls of this incredible palace, but you can also expect to find a very formal and classic casino experience. Popular games like Roulette, French Roulette, Chemin de fer and Blackjack can be enjoyed in the elegant rooms. The Wagner and Marco Polo restaurants provide the finishing touches we didn’t know we needed.
Now that you’ve seen inside one of the most iconic casinos in gaming history, are you planning a visit anytime soon? Or are you going to stick with the more accessible and futuristic online casino gaming experience?
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