Augustus Has Left the Building

Recently, amidst the flashing neon, jostling crowds and all-round sensory overload of the Las Vegas Strip, I found a few Roman footprints. And like most everything else in Vegas, they were unreal.

I’m not sure that Augustus is altogether happy overlooking Las Vegas Boulevard as he points to the half-size Eiffel Tower across the street.

44 Caesars Palace PP Augustus

Copy of Prima Porta Augustus

Caesar’s Palace has an assortment of Roman and Italian architecture and statuary, including a closed-up mini Colosseum and a mall called the Forum Shops.

Caesar's Palace Forum Shops

Caesar’s Palace Forum Shops

Interior of the Forum Shops

Interior of the Forum Shops

What gods are worshipped in the New Rome (aka Caesar’s Palace)? The twin gods, Corvettes and Cash, of course.

38 Caesars Palace

On the sidewalk in front of Caesar’s Palace I found a copy of the Apollo Belvedere.

Apollo Belvedere in Vatican Museum

Apollo Belvedere on the Vegas Strip

Last year in the Vatican Museum I saw the real statue, which itself is a 2nd century AD marble copy of a bronze original dating from 330-320 BC by Leochares, one of the artists who worked on the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus. A lot of Roman statues are copies of Greek originals. Caesar’s Palace is just following the Roman tradition of paying homage to the past through imitation. Right?

Apollo Belvedere in Vatican Museum

Apollo Belvedere in Vatican Museum

There are also copies of Bernini’s Baroque works, including the Trevi Fountain and the Triton Fountain from Palazzo Barberini.

Trevi Fountain copy

Trevi Fountain copy

Bernini's Triton Fountain

Bernini’s Triton Fountain

Continuing down the Strip, after I walked through the Excalibur and the vague time of King Arthur and the Nights of the Roundtable, I went back many centuries to the time of the Pyramids at the Luxor. Finally a chance to see what the inside of a pyramid looks like. You’d be surprised, someone put an obelisk inside the pyramid!

Interior of the Luxor Hotel Lobby

Interior of the Luxor Hotel Lobby

With the desert setting, palm trees and the hot weather, I could almost pretend I was in Egypt.

The Luxor Hotel

The Luxor Hotel

This was my first trip to Las Vegas and I came away feeling that it is like a Disneyland for adults, with Romeland, Veniceland, Parisland, New Yorkland and Egyptland, just to name a few.


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