Italy like the UK is probably not that well known for it’s casinos but it actually has a pretty good selection particularly in Venice and Rome. If you like to include a visit to a casino when you’re travelling here’s a selection from Italy that you may like to try.
1) Casino’ di Venezia, Venice
Personally my favorite casinos are the grand old ones with lots of history that are liberally sprinkled across the European cities. As far as history goes they don’t come much older than the Casino’ di Venezia built in 1638 and claims to be the oldest operating casino in the world.
You’ll find it on the Grand Canal near to lots of other great attractions. The building is wonderful as is the interior full of grand opulence, it’s walls just ooze history. The bottom floor is given up to the usual slot machine nonsense, but you’ll find a selection of proper casino games like roulette on the second floor.
To enter the second floor, you’ll need to be dressed formally – although you can rent a blazer if needed from the casino. The atmosphere on the ground floor is a little disappointing but that changes when you go to the second floor. It’s classy formal atmosphere is everything I love from a casino, no flashing lights and beeping noises just those ‘casino noises’, well dressed and polite people.
It often receives bad reviews but that’s mainly due to the rather coldness of the casino staff and croupiers, although Italians and generally can sometimes seem rather brusque. If you’re ready for that aspect — Casino di Venezia is an experience and one for the casino fans bucket list- arrive in a Tuxedo by gondola for the full effect.
2) San Remo Casino, Sanremo
This beautiful, ornate building is set amongst a well kept gardens complete with Riviera palm trees. It’s on a side street but still a stones throw from the sea, it’s two towers creating a grand air. As with many of these old buildings they looks better from the outside than in, unfortunately San Remo is a little like this but it’s still a nice casino.
The entrance is spoilt (in my opinion) with the usual forest of slot machines which seem to be obligatory in entrances and main rooms in modern casinos. The rows of buzzing and flashing machines always seems to spoil the feel and atmosphere of even the oldest casinos – but I guess they make lots of money placed there.
San Remo does have a selection of live tables, but in truth it’s pretty limited. They have electronic versions of most games but depending on when you visit you may struggle to find a proper poker, craps or roulette game going on. It’s a shame that such a nice building doesn’t have the full casino games but it’s not much more than an impressive amusement arcade without the proper games.
3) Casino di Campione, Campione d’Italia
This casino’s claim to fame is that it’s the largest casino in Europe and it’s certainly very big. I don’t think there’s a casino anywhere near the size in Italy certainly. It’s recently been upgraded and now virtually all of the slot machines are brand new.
Most of the casino games are covered on several floors and as long as you avoid the working day then there should be a decent crowd in and a good atmosphere.
There are also poker games and tournaments which can be difficult to find in most Italian casinos. Due to it’s size if you’re looking for something specific like baccarat then the Casino di Campione is probably your best bet.
If you’re looking for old world atmosphere, then I’m afraid you won’t find it here – it’s a modern building built for convenience rather than style. Having said that though the lights in the entrance hall are impressive and there’s something to be said for having lots of available car park spaces.