Thursday, Feb. 18, 2010 | 7:02 p.m.
Las Vegas has a habit of collecting landmarks — the Statue of Liberty, the Eiffel Tower, the tourmaline canals and singing gondoliers of Venice, even the Colosseum.
Last weekend the city quietly accumulated a shiny new bauble for its jewelry box, Rome's epic meeting of water, myth and marble: the Trevi Fountain.
Unlike the Strip's other landmarks, all street-side in full view of traffic and gawking pedestrians, Vegas' scaled down fountain is relatively hidden away inside the brand new Fendi store at Crystals at CityCenter. In fact, despite its association with one of Italy's most famous fashion houses, this fountain (unlike the original) is practically demure.
"Fendi is Rome and Rome is Fendi," said Salvatore Tramuto, vice president of retail at the new CityCenter location, Vegas' fourth Fendi outpost. The store opened February 13 and celebrated its grand opening last night with a party packed with fashionable locals listening to live piano by "rockjazz" prodigy Eric Lewis (ELEW) and sipping champagne among the furs, footwear and vintage handbags (all for sale and priced to be prized).
There is no Italian flag flying above the runway shoes and no man named Guiseppe with an accordion working the door, but in more subtle ways the new Fendi is as Italian as they come. The design mimics Italian architecture not only in the remodeled landmark, but also in the imported gold, pink and silver travertine on display around the space. The outer mall-facing wall boasts a second Trevi Fountain etched into the rust-colored steel exterior. Two landmarks for the price of one!
Constructed largely of marble, the original Trevi Fountain was built in the mid-1700s to mark the end of an ancient aqueduct that flowed into the city of Rome. The fountain features Oceanus, the god of water, taming the waters that flow beneath him and is must-visit stop for tourists who throw change into the fountain for luck. Fendi's miniature version of the Roman tourist Mecca was also built in Italy and shipped to Las Vegas in pieces for its home in CityCenter's high-end retail property. With Fendi branding prominently displayed in its façade (what's next, a Chanel wrap on the Eiffel Tower?!), this Trevi Fountain graces the front inside wall of the airy 6,000-square-foot store and marks the beginning of a truly Italian shopping experience.
Just don't try to throw pennies in it; it's dry.
— Originally published on LasVegasWeekly.com