Marino Casino is not a casino in the modern sense. It is actually a small villa built in the mid-eighteenth century by Scottish architect Sir William Chambers. The name is derived from Italian, and means 'little house'. Completed in 1775, it is a striking example of Neoclassical architecture. The casino was part of the estate of James Caulfeild, the 1st Earl of Charlemont.
Despite its small size, the Marino Casino features 16 rooms and three floors. One facet of Neoclassical architecture was making multi-story buildings appear to be only one-story. Another surprising feature is the lighting. Though it is almost impossible to see in from the outside, the interior is bathed in light. The decoration is subtle and rich, with period furniture and decorations. The parquet floors are beautiful as well.
The villa is only accessible via a 45 minute guided tour. The guides are dedicated and knowledgeable. This is one of Dublin's hidden gems and definitely off the beaten path. You may even have the tour to yourself. It can be a little difficult to get here, though there is a bus stop nearby.
Location: 5km north of Dublin, Cherrymount Crescent, Malahide Road, Marino
Telephone: +353 01 833 1618
Hours: Open daily 10:00-17:00 May through October