Las Vegas, one of the main tourist locations in the United States, the largest and most important city in Nevada. It has been able to transform the desert and dry mountains that it is surrounded by, in lights, shows, casinos and entertainment. It is no coincidence that it is a widespread conception to see it as a “sin city”, a place of excesses, also celebrated in films and TV series. “What happens in Las Vegas, stays in Las Vegas”, or so they say.
There are no rules, you can get married in haste, gamble at any time of the day or night, drink, have fun in the clubs and discotheques. But La Vegas is more than that, it is a show in the show. It is the city of shows, magic, music and acrobats. And, in fact, the Cirque du Soleil has had a permanent base here for years. It is the city of stars, of international stars, of reproductions. You will think you are in Venice, but in Paris too. You will have a few reminders of Rome and Egypt. Come and discover with us the 17 places that you cannot miss in this crazy city that never sleeps.
- Las Vegas Strip
- Caesar s Palace
- Hotel Luxor
- Hotel Venetian
- Hotel Bellagio
- Canyon Ranch
- Shark Reef Aquarium
- Neon Museum
- Cirque du Soleil
- Fremont Street
- Mermaid Show Silverton
- Around Las Vegas: Death Valley
- Around Las Vegas: the Hoover Dam
- Around Las Vegas: Valley of Fire
- Around Las Vegas: Red Rock Canyon
- Around Las Vegas: Zion National Park
Las Vegas Strip
Five kilometres of lights. And not just that, but also buildings, shows, attractive hotels, possibilities and stimulation. Las Vegas Boulevard South, known as the Las Vegas Strip, is the temptress soul of the city, the most important avenue with a thousand possibilities. Here you find greatness, fame and numbers. Huge hotels, casinos you have never seen, buildings that make history, trying to be modern and surprising.
It was a gangster who started all this, just like in a perfect film script. The first hotel was built in 1946, when Bugsy Siegel opened his first casino, the Flamingo Hotel, laying the “first stone” of his project. You can find a little of everything on this road from huge, majestic themed buildings that copy New York, the Egyptian pyramids, Venice, and casinos that are a real fluorescent labyrinth for gambling lovers and first timers too.
There are also spaces for families, thanks to the theme parks that have been created in the hotels to entertain children. Excess is also in the size of everything, in the details and in the design. An avenue that never sleeps, full of life, street artists, contamination. It is also the explosion and endless choices of the cuisine on offer. There is nothing to joke about when it comes to eating here either: You can choose anything to eat and any type of environment to eat your food in. Any style, technique, dressing, ingredient: here there is something for all tastes, desires and pockets. From easy fast food, to unlimited buffets, with also cheap or ethnic restaurants to top class ones.
Here, we go back in time to Ancient Rome, but there is also an eye on the future regarding design and the modern shows. Caesar s Palace is one of the most famous and largest casino hotels in the world. It is also one of the most characteristics sites in the public mind, as it conjures up the time of the Romans, with its sumptuous fountains, squares and mythological statues.
Its history began in 1966 and immediately was a hit, thanks to gossip, the wedding of the musician Xavier Cugat and the singer Charo. There is a whole world inside the complex. As well as the 3 thousand rooms, there are theatres where singers have sung. To name a few of them: Frank Sinatra, Elton John, Cher, Diana Ross and Celine Dion. If that wasn’t enough, there are also several restaurants, a shopping mall, a chapel, a 15,000 square metre casino and boxing and wrestling matches are also held here.
In the past it has even been the setting for car races. Ideal for families and children, there is also the Fall of Atlantis, held daily. Fire, water, smoke and special effects tell the story of Atlas, Gadrius and Alia, who fight to rule the legendary city under the sea. Surrounded by an aquarium containing 50,000 gallons of salt water, the mythological submerged continent rises and falls before our eyes.
The show is permanent at the location: the hotel has starred in several films (including Rain man with Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise and The Hangover), but it has also appeared in books, cartoons, TV series and even video games.
The name Luxor, a pyramid and the sphinx, it is not difficult to guess where this hotel is reminiscent of: Ancient Egypt. Luxor holds a record, of having the largest foyer in the world. It was one of the first ever themed hotels ever built and is still considered to be a true architectural wonder. It is over 11,000 square metres in size and counts 39 floors: it has a casino and about 2000 slot machines dotted all over the place.
The steel and glass pyramid was finished in 1993. The hotel has over 4 thousand rooms, more than 400 suites and a unique characteristic: it uses slanting elevators that follow the lines of the construction (inclinators). Each evening a bright light is turned on, that is said to be visible from space. Ah, Las Vegas.
Here we find ourselves back in Italy, with its art, canals and gondolas. One of the Las Vegas hotels worth mentioning is the Venetian, the largest 5 star hotel in America. It was created in 1999, built on the ashes of the Sands Hotel, and a recreation of Venice. You will see St Marks Square, the bell tower and the Rialto Bridge. Inside, it will feel like you are travelling in awe around the bridges, alleyways, squares and canals, with their gondolas. There are even gondoliers, with the same uniform that take tourists on trips and do their best to sing Italian songs.
The most modern part of the hotel is called Venezia Tower: it has a private pool and one floor solely for checking-in and concierge service. The building is also home to Madame Tussauds Wax Works: here we find statues of famous people, artists, singers, sports people, all reproduced at natural size, and a 4D experience with Marvel personalities. The casino, that is underneath the shopping mall, offers over 122 different types of games.
After hours of music, lights, noise, traffic and queues of people walking around the Strip, it is only natural that you will need a bit of peace and quiet, perhaps at the best Spa in the city: The Canyon Ranch at the Venetian. Inside, you will see pastel-coloured rooms, you will hear nothing other than gurgling water and gentle background music that will accompany you on a unique experience that will allow you to recharge your senses.
You will have at least 150 possibilities of choices of treatments, massages and other uses of water. You will discover dedicated treatment rooms for body and skin care. There will also be spaces for movement therapy, pools and a medical and well-being centre, may other services, even Pilates. When you have finished relaxing, you can enjoy a cocktail, perhaps have a chat, and you will be ready for the world again.
Your trip to Italy continues, after Venice, and Rome there is also a corner of Lake Como. The building was constructed in the style of the houses and landscape in the town of the same name. The Bellagio holds more than 3 thousand rooms, and is a small city. Imagine several restaurants and cultural spaces, like a museum, art gallery, a theatre, that was home to the Cirque du Soleil. The casino has a floor area of over 10 thousand square meters. International poker tournaments are often held here. There is also a modern tower that houses a luxurious Spa. The rooms contain works of art, sumptuous bathrooms and enjoy great views over the wonderful outdoor gardens.
In a play of luxury and detail, the rooms that look out onto the fountains are firm favourites. They are, in fact, the hotel's real attraction. The water jets seems to dance to the music. With a set rhythm at intervals of 15 or 30 minutes, the fountain springs to life, shooting thousands of jets of water into the air in an explosion of colours, accompanied by historical soundtracks.
A location like this could not avoid being chosen as the set for several films, including the famous Ocean's Eleven. Anyone desiring a bit of green will not be disappointed and can appreciate the hotel gardens, with its varied flora. The perfect way to relax in an almost surreal peace and quiet.
The desire to amaze people is routine in Las Vegas. At the famous Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino there is even an aquarium: The Shark Reef Aquarium. The aquarium contains endless types of sea life in a place that half outdoors, half indoors. You will see jellyfish, stingrays, crocodiles, turtles and even a small Komodo dragon. There are also 100 sharks, of 15 different types, and more than 2000 animals.
The Shark Reef Aquarium is the largest in the United States and has a capacity of 5 million litres. The sharks are in the main aquarium. There are also small pools, split into fresh water and salt water. There are several viewing galleries for a full, unique view of the ocean's treasures.
You will learn all about the aquarium and its animals on one of the educational visits available. The Shark Reef is divided into three separate areas. There is the fresh water part with crocodiles, pythons and other reptiles, and salt water pools. Another open tank allows you to touch several animals, under supervision.
The Stratosphere Las Vegas is a casino hotel right on the Strip, and here the definition is not appealing. The hotel has 20 floors, with almost 2500 rooms and a casino that is more than 7 thousand square metres. It is not the numbers that will surprise you, but the Stratosphere Tower with its 350 metres of height. A great combination of being the highest observation tower in the USA and also the highest building in Las Vegas.
The elevators that will take you to the top are some of the fastest in the world. The tower was opened on 30 April 1996 and immediately became one of the most sought-after symbols and attractions in the entire State.
A the top of the tower there is a fun park with several rides. You can go on the roller coaster and be suspended at a height of 300 metres and enjoy a super fast death spin. Then you can try a ride that rotates outside the tower. End with the record Bungee Jumping: a jump to the bottom of the tower that will take your breath away.
A kind of cemetery for signs or rather museum of relics that document the sparkling past of Las Vegas: this is the Neon Museum. A way to pay homage to the vintage hotels and casinos in this colourful attraction that holds over 200 wonderful neon signs from as far back as 1930.
Some citizens renovated these “finds” and restored them to their original splendour. The route will amaze you day or night during the evening guided tours of the museum: merit of the amusing anecdotes and interesting stories that they bear witness to. There is, however, a surprise, in several locations. An unmissable temporary exhibition dedicated to the film director Tim Burton. Large sculptures will be placed around the museum and in Boneyard Park in the city of Las Vegas.
Cirque du Soleil
The famous Canadian acrobatic and juggling group is at home in Las Vegas, and has several permanent shows on in various hotels around the city. The link is always the desire to amaze the audience and innovate. Attention to detail, both for the stage setting and the costumes, is perfect and complete. Even the soundtracks have been studied and are performed live.
There are many fun facts about the performances, starting from the Kà show. It is the only one without a “normal” stage: as the platform rotates 360°, under the amazed eyes of the audience. The reason for this is also to create a setting, share the hectic nature of the actions and combat scenes.
Mystère is a true piece of history, the “grandfather” of the shows. It was the first to come permanently to Las Vegas, in 1993, with its adapted stage. At that time, Mystère had been designed for Caesar s Palace, and included Ancient Greeks and Romans on stage. Today, the sense is more abstract: the subject is the mystery of life. The answers are sought through dance and extraordinary acrobatics.
O is a show that will leave you speechless. In just a few seconds, the stage becomes a pool and the acrobats leave for a synchronised swimming number. There are former Olympian athletes among the artists.
After the Strip, we can say that it is another important piece of Las Vegas, but the first for the testimonies that it has collected. It is the historical memory of Las Vegas: founded in 1905, it was the first to be covered in tarmac. The first traffic lights were installed here in 1931. It wasn’t just its lights that made the news. Las Vegas was the first city in the whole of Nevada to have electricity.
Once again the casinos are the protagonists, even if they are not enormous and brightly lit like the ones on the Strip. They have more of a history filled with anecdotes and details. Here, for example, we can find the oldest casino in Las Vegas, the Golden Gate Hotel Casino. The railway theme is the characteristic of the building and the gambling area: there is a lot of attention to detail and finishes in Victorian style.
You may like the hotel for other reasons, if you don’t want to gamble. It has a great collection of antiques. They range from the chandeliers from the Figaro Opera House in Paris to the bronze statue of a wild boar. For business reasons, the road has also been transformed into a show: “The Fremont Street experience”. A mix of lights, sounds, and concerts. A contamination of live shows and performances. The creation of the Fremont Street Experience was decided by the managers of the various clubs to encourage tourism and relaunch the old woman of Las Vegas. The first show took place on 14 December 1995, and later the stage setting and audio system were improved.
Mermaid Show Silverton
Around Las Vegas: Death Valley
It holds many records, one of the hottest and lowest places in the world, but also one of the prettiest and magical places in the USA, also thanks to the cinema, especially Westerns: we are talking about Death Valley, a national park between California and Nevada. Death Valley, is one of the attractions not to be missed. It was a group of gold miners who got lost that determined the name of the place, to their misfortune.
Almost all of them were saved, but the place was was branded due to the conditions of survival. A desert surface, that knows how to amaze people and is, in reality, full of life. The peaks of the mountains are covered in snow.
It is a place full of contradictions: there is the desert but there are also areas of wild flowers and even oases. There is also a variety of fauna. There are coyotes, Rocky Mountain sheep, lizards, ravens and fish. A path that is 225 kilometres long.
There is plenty to see in Death Valley: for example, there is Zabriskie Point, made up of sediments from an ancient lake, that dried up. You can enjoy a unique view from here: A huge display of mountains that continuously changes colour. The name also inspired the film directed by Michelangelo Antonioni in 1970. Nearby, there is another attraction to admire: a basin where there is also a salt lake that is continuously transforming.
Around Las Vegas: the Hoover Dam
A visionary work of engineering and one of the most innovative and important in the world: it is the Hoover Dam, that is a few kilometres from Las Vegas. It involves big numbers, as it is one of the biggest in the world, being 220 metres high and 200 metres wide, and was completed in 5 years. It currently guarantees electricity to at least three States, Nevada, Arizona and the south of California: it is visited by almost 2 million people.
Techniques that had never been tried out before were used in its construction. The famous dam owes its name to Herbert Hoover, the secretary of trade and then the president of the United States, who worked for it to be built. The ambitious project was entrusted to Frank T Crow, the famous engineer who had already created other important constructions.
Around Las Vegas: Valley of Fire
You may want to return on the road to discover another type of unique colour show: Nature in the Mojave Desert. About ninety kilometres from Las Vegas, you will see the Valley of Fire State Park. The state park will take you into another world, amongst rocky monuments with the most surprising colours, shades of red, grey and pink. In just a short time, Las Vegas will be just a memory.
You will witness a unique spectacle: Sedimentary rocks of all shapes and colours, mountains of schist, a particular rock, white limestone hills pointing up to the blue sky. There are old rocky engravings that are over 3000 years old.
It was named the “Valley of Fire” due to the formation of red sandstone that seems to catch fire when sun rays are reflected on it. The beauty and particular nature of this has been appreciated in all ages. These lands in the Moapa Valley were inhabited by the Pueblo Indians: traces of their stay and daily life can be found in the drawings engraved in the rock in several areas of the park. The lines form animals, geometric shapes or people.
Around Las Vegas: Red Rock Canyon
A beautiful natural red-coloured canyon . If you want a new alternative to the bright lights of Las Vegas, travel about fifty kilometres and you will reach Red Rock Canyon. This park has been the setting for many Western films: a number of walls, high plains and hills eroded by time and the wind.
It is a sculpted land that does not hide its tone and hues, as well as all its white, pink and red layers. A joy to admire and immortalise on film. Paleontologists are fans of this area too. The reason is simple, in fact prehistoric animal remains have been found here: a strange list of sabre-toothed tigers and prehistoric alligators.
Trekking lovers will find several trails along the almost 11,000 hectares of park. Whoever comes here for the first time will discover how the Hagen and Red Rock canyons formed, for example. There is another path that starts rocky formation that are 90 metres high, red pillars that follow an old off-road route. You will feel a little disoriented, but you will be rewarded with a wonderful view. After a damp winter, the wild flowers explode in colour. Nights in the park are magical and are an experience that should be tried. There is nothing, no light pollution, only the possibility of hearing, breathing and contemplating nature.
Around Las Vegas: Zion National Park
Another park to admire the rocks and wonderful shades of lights. Zion National Park, one of the favourite attractions, as 4 million visitors come here each year. It has a surface area of approximately 593 square kilometres around a deep gorge dug out by the North Fork Virgin River. It is close to the city of Springdale, in Utah.
The area became a Park in 1919: you can see the rocky sandstone walls, sculpted by water erosion. You will witness a mix of colours and hues, from cream to pink to red, that seem to break free towards the sky. Zion Canyon has at least nine types of rock formation that can be seen while travelling round the area. Animals are important too, as the area hosts more than 60 mammal species, more than 200 birds, more than 35 reptiles and amphibians and also various types of fish.
The lights of Las Vegas
The largest theme park in the world where the protagonist is fun. Las Vegas is also a place where everything shines and is always switched on, a number of crazy perspectives, starting from the High Roller, the largest big wheel in the world: 167.6 metres. But Las Vegas is also a world to be discovered, full of museums, and possibilities.
An alternative, interesting museum is the Atomic Testing Museum that tells a little-known story. It starts a long way in the past, in the 1950s, in the middle of the Cold War, when the city of Nevada was the hub of American weapon experiments. And there are also panoramic view points from where you can see cinema-worthy views. The Arts Districts, the heart of art and local theatres, is also worth a visit Sometimes the shows come out of the buildings and boundaries and onto the street, sometimes the colours cover the districts and become murals. All you can do is throw yourself into the fun and choose to bet on Las Vegas.