Italian Art in Unexpected Places: How Italy Has Inspired Casino Creatives

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The most obvious examples are painters, sculptors, and musicians. Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata has stirred the emotions of audiences around the world for centuries. The same goes for Michelangelo’s David, and da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. We bet you didn’t know Italian iconography is big in the gambling world. Specifically, some of the world’s most famous casinos have an Italian theme.

Casino di Campione, on the shores of Lake Lugano, is not only one of the world’s largest casinos but one of Europe’s oldest. First built in 1917, this 590,000-square-foot casino was originally built as a way to gather intelligence during the First World War. Once the war was over and time had passed, it became a recreational hub. An upgrade and change of location (a few hundred yards down the road) turned it into a modern entertainment venue that still bears the markings of its Italian heritage.

Listed among the world’s largest casinos are the Venetian Macau and its older sibling, the Venetian Las Vegas. Both buildings are unashamedly Italian. From their names and décor to gondolas that sail through various parts of the building, they’re obvious examples of the casino world’s love of Italy. In fact, the tributes don’t start and end with land-based casinos. Go online and you’ll find a variety of games and products inspired by Italy.

Italian Culture Inspires All Artists

There are plenty of slots that spin their reels towards Italy. Up Pompay, Gladiator Road to Rome, Centurion, and the Da Vinci Device are just a few popular slots. If you’re a gaming historian, you’ll know that baccarat has Italian roots. Lo Giuoco del Lotto D’Italia, a bingo-style game, was popular in Italy back in the 15th century. Modern baccarat is noticeably different from Lo Giuoco del Lotto D’Italia, it’s clear they have a historical connection.

Another obvious connection, when you look at it, is the one between casinos and Italian culture. Gambling was popular across the Roman Empire. Although it was regulated, games such as Tali, Terni lapilli, Duodecim Scripta, and Ludus Latrunculorum were allowed to proliferate. There’s a certain level of class that Italian iconography conveys. Whether it’s laurel wreaths or ornate lighting, there’s something about Italian architecture and art that people love.

Casino developers have latched onto this in an effort to make their creations look and feel luxurious. It’s a look that’s clearly popular as some of the world’s biggest casinos have adopted it. So, even though we always hold up so-called “high art” as an example of how Italian culture has inspired creative types, there are many more examples. One of these examples, as unexpected as it might be, is modern casino architecture. This proves, once again, why Italy will always be a source of inspiration for every type of artist.