'Casino' rolls out at fest

Is not his license to kill that makes James Bond the envy of auds, but rather his open passport to the world’s most exotic locations. Bond’s latest excursion, “Casino Royale,” climaxes with a spectacular visit to Venice, Italy — but this won’t be the first time Bond has toured the canal city.

In “From Russia With Love,” Sean Connery races to Venice by motorboat for the pic’s explosive finale, blowing up his pursuers with a flare gun en route. Back in his hotel room, he dispatches spike-toed nemesis Rosa Klebb before taking the lovely Tatiana for a romantic gondola ride.

Roger Moore returned 16 years later in “Moonraker,” making use of an amphibious gondola tricked out by Q to navigate canals and cobblestone streets with equal dexterity. The filmmakers received special permission to film the chase through the canals, where the speed limit is strictly enforced at 5 knots.

Daniel Craig arrives in Venice by yacht in “Casino Royale,” but finds little time for sightseeing (although San Marco’s Square does figure prominently). According to producer Anthony Waye, filming isn’t easy in the watery city. “It does take some getting used to, where all your equipment is moored on barges or wheeled in small barrows through the city,” he says, but Venice’s romantic appeal easily outweighs the complications.

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