Casino Marino is regarded as one of the finest Neo-Classical buildings in Europe and is also one of the most surprising. It was designed by Sir William Chambers as a pleasure home for James Caulfield , 1st Earl of Charlemont and has some of the most delicately executed decorations in the classical Greek and Roman styles. Although casino means ‘small house’, this one, with it’s clever use of perspective, has 16 finely decorated rooms within it, which includes ‘the Zodiac Room’. Other notable features are the chimneys, which are disguised as urns and the columns, which filter rain water down inside them using metal chains (this was a Chinese invention that James Caulfield saw on his travels). The wood on the mosaic floors are made from different types of wood from rare trees found in Africa and South America (some of which are now extinct). It was also used by Michael Collins during the War of Independence as a hideout because it had a secret tunnel connecting it to the coast. This one is a surprising treat to visit. (R)