Must Visit Vizcaya Museum & Gardens in Miami
The private village of the James Deering family (of Deering/Harvester fortune) at Vizcaya was the most prominent home in Miami during that time frame and early development of Miami. Vizcaya meaning was built on the shores of Biscayne bay from 1914 to 1922. Today the well preserved manor home and elaborate gardens are a public museum and DIY tours with audio are offered for the interior of the home. Touring the Vizcaya Museum & Gardens in Miami is a fantastic way to experience the gorgeous past of Miami’s beginnings.
Touring the Deering’s Miami home at Vizcaya
Vizcaya Museum History
Vizcaya conceived as an Italian villa of the 18th century exudes the opulence and grand lifestyle of Italian villas mostly from the Northern Italian regions but re-interpreted to the Miami subtropical environment, which was no easy feat. Built with engineering and artistic marvels of that time frame, the home was constructed mostly of reinforced concrete and utilized modern comforts including two elevators, heating and ventilating systems, a generator, central vacuum system and an automated laundry facility.
Nowadays Vizcaya is a popular place to hold events, functions and even weddings around the grounds and open areas that venues can be arranged for fundraising events.
Tip – photography is not allowed inside the home due to the collectibles and other fragile personal effects, but you can take pictures anywhere outside of the villa. Make sure to have your headset ready for the self tour of the inside to give more details about each room you will be visiting.
Touring inside Vizcaya
The home interior collections are intact with wonderful furnishings, artwork and personal effects covering several cultures and periods of art including: Neoclassical and Rococo furnishings, Chinese antiques and ceramics, Renaissance tapestries and architectural details, Roman sculptures to more midcentury sculptures, paintings and collectibles.
Touring the Vizcaya Gardens
Built in a natural native forest which is almost gone except for a few remnants in the Coral Gables area, the Deerings maintained an effort to as much of this native forest as possible as living collections. Even with the protection of native forest, elaborate subtropical gardens were also created in a formal Italian style but utilizing tropical elements and design into the garden rooms surrounding the property. Below a sunken garden with beautiful Rococo architectural details are accented with succulents and dessert blooms.
Entering the sunken garden
After touring the home and outdoor gardens, it’s nice stop for something refreshing and do some shopping below the main house and adjacent to the swimming pool. The cafeteria style service offers light bites along with some delicious and inventive menus for a full service. The gift shop next to the cafeteria has a full range of gift items, books and other fun souvenirs to take home while also supporting this non-profit foundation.
Remnants of a coral subtropical forest in Coral Gables
More details to visiting Vizcaya Museums & Gardens
Entrance fee to Vizcaya Museum & Gardens: $18 Adult $6 children 6-12, free under, Seniors 62+ $12
Hours 9:30 -4:30
Vizcaya website here for more information
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