No trip to Las Vegas would be complete without a stop (or a stay) at the luxurious Venice-themed Venetian Resort Hotel & Casino. The popular hotel features a replica of St. Mark's Square, a miniature Bridge of Sighs, and a 31,235-square foot lagoon, complete with gondolas. These sleek, black, signature vessels are piloted by gondoliers clad in red and white-striped shirts and tight black pants. They ply individuals, couples, and families around the Grand Canal Shoppes, inside the hotel, and on a 12-minute course, outside around the perimeter of the hotel. More often than not, they break into song, perhaps a chorus of "O Sole Mio."
Watching the gondolas glide along the Venetian's lagoon is great theater. Visitors can stand atop one of the Grand Canal Shoppes' many bridges, or venture outside around the edge of the property. Riding in one of the gondolas costs money, but it's free to watch. The gondolas run Sunday through Thursday from 10am to 11pm, and on Saturdays from 10am to 1145pm. Arrive a little before the first run to hear the gondoliers warming up their singing voices.