The Casino in Bagni di Lucca has re-opened. (Again!) I find the juxtaposition of the elegance of the interior with the garish electronic flashing lights of the slot machines difficult to look at, but it’s great that this lovely historic building is open once again and people can visit and enjoy it. And with a bar and restaurant too it’s not only for those who want to play.
The Royal Casino in Bagni di Lucca was built in 1837 by Pardini for the Duke of Lucca, Carlo Lodovico Borbone. Opening in 1839 at the height of Bagni di Lucca’s fame and popularity the finest of Europe’s aristocracy gambled, danced and duelled there. I’ve heard it was the first casino in Europe and that roulette was invented there. Eventually it closed down, but recently this beautiful elegant building was restored to its former glory, however a gambling licence proved hard to obtain.
Two years ago the casino re-opened with a licence for electronic gambling but it quietly closed down again, seemingly with too few clients after the initial razzamatazz of the opening. Now, in mid september 2011, it re-opened once again, under a different company. First indications suggest they may have got it right this time as a few weeks on it is bustling and lively.
Our current guests have discovered a taste for the electronic roulette wheel this week, and have had several happy evenings there. I’m afraid to try it myself though as it could be an expensive hobby with the casino being only a couple of minutes walk away! I have of course sampled the quality of the prosecco at the bar (several times, just to be sure!) and can give a favourable report! The prices are reasonable for such an elegant spot and there is often evening entertainment or a live band. The terrace overlooking the River Lima is a nice location and you can also take morning coffee there.
The restaurant offers a set dinner for 25euros per head, the menu changes daily. There seem to be quite a few dining whenever we’ve popped in and it’s a nice idea to be giving a package which makes for a whole evening out, with dinner, music, entertainment as well as the machines. I’ve not tried the meals as the menus don’t work for me as a vegetarian but the setting looks good.
For the programme of events see http://www.slotshow.it/bagni-di-lucca/