LAS VEGAS – “La Dolce Vita” comes to life inside Bellagio’s Conservatory & Botanical Gardens as guests are invited to experience the scenery, scents and sounds of an Italian summer. Envisioned by designer Ed Libby and Bellagio’s Horticulture team, the dazzling display invites guests on a romantic holiday through four picturesque regions of the country, open now through September 7.
The journey begins with a nod to the island of Capri as guests walk under a magnificent canopy of lemon tree branches and lush greenery reminiscent of the grand entrance to the famous Da Paolino Restaurant, a beloved spot for proposals and intimate family celebrations. Water gently streams from an eight-foot fountain located at the center of the canopy while colorful bouquets of flowers overflow from four handcrafted vases resting at each corner of the walkway’s edge.
In the West Garden, three Murano-inspired crystal chandeliers cast a warm glow over a 20-foot vine-covered fountain, an homage to the Fontana dell’Ovato in Villa d’Este, a 16th century residence in Tivoli. A short drive from Rome, the estate is famous for its terraced hillside Renaissance garden and abundance of stone fountains, and has served as a source of inspiration for many other gardens throughout Europe.
Nearby in the South Garden, passersby find themselves part of a powerful re-enactment of The Palio, Siena’s twice-yearly horserace. During this important cultural event, 10 horses with riders from the various Sienese Contrade, also known as city districts, challenge each other in a passionate race that circles the Piazza del Campo. Dating back to the 6th century, the competition is synonymous with summertime in Italy. Behind the depiction of the race stands a replica of Siena’s town hall – Palazzo Pubblico – while 17 brightly colored flags representing each of the various Contrade fly overhead.
Across the Conservatory, a floral troubadour holding a mandolin invites onlookers into a scene from Milan’s famous Teatro alla Scala. A peek behind the opera house’s burgundy velvet curtain reveals a picnic, complete with an intricate embroidered blanket made from botanical materials and a woven basket overflowing with food. The enchanting setting awaits its royal guests to descend from a grand staircase lined with Cypress trees, as two trumpeter swans float peacefully in a pond nearby.
The Conservatory & Botanical Gardens is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is complimentary to the public.
Summer Display by the Numbers
- 57,000: Total number of flowers on display for the duration of the exhibit
- 1,400: Number of flowers used to create the lemons
- 125: Team members who participate in the display’s assembly
- 20 feet: Height of the Fontana dell’Ovato
- 17: Number of Contrada flags
- 8: Number of Italian Lanterns