Recently, my husband and I tasted a bit of Italy in Miami. There surrounded by cosmopolitan city life, Vizcaya Museum and Gardens offers a departure into the elegance of an Italian Renaissance estate. Built by International Harvester magnate James Deering in 1916, his elegant summer residence is now open for visitors to enjoy.
The 34-room villa is open for tours, but its curators prohibit photography. Outside, however are breathtaking visas of the Biscayne Bay harbor and 10 acres of formal gardens.
The large limestone barge serves as a breakwater to protect the villa and grounds from sea-born storms.
After cooling off in a tropical rain shower, we crossed a footbridge and enjoyed the view of Biscayne Bay from Vizcaya’s gazebo.
Just behind the gazebo lies the Secret Garden.
Coming out of the Secret Garden, gentle Baroque curves present a relaxing but formal atmosphere.
Greek and Italian sculpture fills the gardens.
Steps lead from the garden to an elevated overlook.
Tucked behind the gardens a canal dock awaits seafaring visitors.
A Google search reveals multiple pages of information on Vizcaya, but Memorable Moments on Biscayne Bay by Pamela Ann Campbell (be sure to check out the Miami Treasures Photo Collection) and John Singer Sargent’s Virtual Gallery shouldn’t be missed. Better yet, mark this travel destination as a must-see for your next trip to South Florida.