The weather is changing and the holiday season is fast approaching. There are worldwide celebrations and positive energy is contagious most everywhere you look. We have been fortunate to attend one winter celebration since its inception in Las Vegas: The Venetian and The Palazzo Las Vegas are home to the Winter in Venice celebration on the Las Vegas Strip, and this year’s theme is "A Gift of The Venetian." This third celebration of music, food and culture will feature 49 days of seasonal experiences throughout both resorts running Nov. 18, 2013 through Jan. 5, 2014.
The 2013 schedule of events includes a nightly winter parade, tree-lighting ceremonies, a stunning 3D light projection show, an elaborate Winter in Venice fantasy scene in The Palazzo Waterfall Gardens, and a romantic skating rink above The Venetian's romantic outdoor Grand Canal.
"The holidays are such a magical time for everyone and Winter in Venice offers the perfect place to truly enjoy this special time of year," John Caparella, president and chief operating officer of The Venetian, The Palazzo and Sands Expo, told us.
"Winter in Venice finds its inspiration in the folklore and tales that generations of Italians have grown to know and love," Caparella added. “Those stories have filled the imaginations of generations of Venetians with the experiences of festive holiday seasons coupled with the long-treasured spirit of giving and sharing. Within these tales are the characters that exemplify the good will, the fun and the excitement of the season."
The Venetian's front exterior facing the Las Vegas Strip will be adorned in winter schemes reminiscent of the city of Venice. Thousands of large festooned lights will also hang over a majestic ice skating rink.
In addition to the daily events, there will be two specialty weekends that are definitely a reason to visit and enjoy. First up is La Cucina Italiana Weekend, with Chef Mario Batali and Buddy Valastro (Dec 6-8): In conjunction with Southern Wine and Spirits of Nevada, La Cucina Italiana magazine will feature a three-day event celebrating the epicurean traditions of Italy. La Cucina Italiana, the undisputed expert on Italian food, wine and culture worldwide, will feature a weekend of food demonstrations, wine dinners, and other culinary-centered activities to keep your palate in the holiday mood. For an upclose look at La Cucina Italiana visit the website.
The exciting Culinary Clash Weekend, with Chef Emeril Lagasse is (Dec 13-14): Guests can witness the best chefs of the resorts compete to see who will be named winner of the second Culinary Clash Master Chef Competition. The competition, which unfolds over the weekend, is open to all chefs at the food and beverage venues located inside The Venetian and The Palazzo. These chefs will vie for the prestige of the Venetian Culinary Clash Award.
It is not all about Italian gastronomy at Winter in Venice; a mixology cocktail competition will feature scheduled appearances by Tony Abou Ganim, Francesco Lafranconi, and Dale de Groff, each recognized as being one of the country's top mixologists.
During this culinary extravaganza, a seasonal Winter in Venice cocktail menu, including holiday-inspired spiced cocktails such as Gondolier Blanco, will be available throughout the resort lounges, including The Bourbon Room, Zebra Lounge, Bellini Bar, Fusion Mixology Bar and Laguna Champagne Bar.
Holiday-themed prix fixe menus and specials will also be offered by some of the resorts’ restaurants, including Aquaknox, B&B, Bouchon, Canaletto, Canyon Ranch Café, Delmonico, FIRST Food & Bar, Grand Lux Cafe, Pinot Brasserie, Postrio, Table 10, and LAVO Italian Restaurant.
For more information on Winter in Venice, please visit the website.