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Welcome to Vizcaya
Discover Venetian splendor in a tropical setting at this 1916 Miami estate that continues to dazzle with its art, architecture, and landscape design.
Built in the early 1900s as the European-style winter home for industrialist James Deering, Vizcaya boasts glorious gardens as well as a small open-air house called the casino (background) that was used for parties and as a reading room. Vizcaya was named after a province in Spain's Basque region.
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Gloria, an 18th-century statue that once stood in the gardens of the Bishop of Padua, gazes over the elaborate parterres of the main formal garden at the south side of the villa.
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An aquatic mural on the ceiling of the villa's saltwater pool was created with real and plaster seashells by the artist Robert Chanler.
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An ancient caryatid supports the entryway to a hidden shell-lined grotto.
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A Venetian statue of a contadino, or country farmer, stands in front of a royal palm and a massive strangler fig.
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A traditional mascaron, an old-world architectural detail often employed on entrances to keep away evil spirits, frames an archway.
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One of the garden's intimate stone grottoes appears at the end of a gracious reflecting pool on the property; the pylons, carved on site, lead to the main stairway of the casino mount.
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Garden of Glamour
A section of the casino mount features 18th-century Sicilian vases and columns inspired by the Villa Borghese in Rome. A eucalyptus tree in the background mingles with the natural backdrop.
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Steps to Heaven
A view of the Fountain Garden, whose fountain was carved around 1772 by the same studio that crafted the one in front of Rome's Pantheon; stone tracks were laid down so that garden carts could be wheeled with ease.
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A coral-rock face adds a surprising decorative element to an ornate balustrade at the Secret Garden, a small interior garden whose design was influenced by Villa Gamberaia, near Florence, Italy.
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A view of the Secret Garden from one of the property's hidden stone grottoes; potted windmill palms flank its entrance.
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A stucco-walled section features weathered columns and hand-carved medallions on the balustrade that give this intimate spot an ancient feel; Hawaiian ti plants serve as visual accents.
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On the casino mount, 200-year-old live oaks, draped with Spanish moss and resurrection fern, evoke a tranquil oasis. Janus, the ancient god of beginnings, sits atop a Roman property marker.
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Designed to look like a ship at sea, the stone-clad "barge" was the site of magnificent parties. Featuring hand-carved statues by the sculptor Alexander Stirling Calder, it serves as an important breakwater for Vizcaya.
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