Yesterday, I wore mostly East Coast black for a visit to Miami and the Vizcaya Museum (aka, Villa Vizcaya) in Coconut Grove, which reminded me a lot of our time in Italy last fall. And in case you thought New England had the market cornered on manses and gardens built by the mega rich* and later converted to public attractions, this place proves that wrong with every single step. The interior is nothing short of stunning with all sorts of ornate details and features, from fireplaces and chandeliers to stained glass, winding stairways, and an interior courtyard. It also overlooks Biscayne Bay and it's the outside that was really packing people in on a Thursday afternoon in mid March.
Beyond the colorful flowers and palms that punctuate the exterior of the 34 room mansion built in 1910, the wow moments include spying 100 year old oak trees, fountains, archways that lead to statutes and murals, expertly manicured greeneries that make up a ginormous maze, and a secret garden hidden behind high walls (themselves works of art) and filled with a mix of succulents. (After a quick online search, saw that both the house and the gardens were inspired by the Italian Renaissance.) Truly awe-some!
The most popular activity at Vizcaya? Having photos taken. We saw quite a few couples who looked like they were mid engagement photos, young girls in their Quinceanera finest, and fashion blogger types - all with professional photogs and lightening equipment in tow. So much for I-Phone snaps or selfies!
*Vizcaya originated as the winter estate of one James Deering, businessman and part of Deering McCormick-International Harvester. (Yup, the tractors.)
**There's also an impressive breakwater fashioned in the shape of a ship. It's definitely worth checking out in addition to all else that there is to see. Time mag thought it was THE thing to see when they did their write-up of Vizcaya a while back.
Ciao for Now,
Photo Credits: All photos courtesy of PattyJ.com