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Casino Venier

In the 18th century, at the time of Giacomo Casanova, there were well over 100 casini dotted around Venice – sumptuous, intimate salons in which the aristocracy met, danced, flirted and, above all, gambled. One of the most exquisite can still be visited as it is now the premises of French cultural centre L'Alliance Francaise.

Casino Venier dates back to 1750 and occupies the first floor of a nondescript building looking out over the narrow Barateri Canal. As you walk up the ancient staircase and push open the heavy door, nothing prepares you for the opulent decor of the main salon: the marble-floored Casino is a riot of opulent stucco, frescoes and Murano mirrors, and is occasionally used as a venue for art exhibitions.

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