Visiting Vizcaya in Miami

Vizcaya in Miami

Ah Miami.. The city of excess.

We participated in this excess by visiting Vizcaya Museum and Gardens with the whole family.

Vizcaya is a castle built by James Deering, a VP of International Harvester between 1914 and 1916. Just as Biltmore Estate was designed as a French Chateau, Viscaya was inspired by Italian architecture. The word, Vizcaya,  itself is Spanish. Go figure.

The effects are from the 16th to 19th century. Deering has all the modern amenities in his winter home–electricity, telephone, elevators including a dumb waiter and refrigeration. The rooms are beautifully decorated in the original style.

The gardens are also in the Italian style. They are peppered with classical statues that you expect to see in Rome. OK, I’ve never been to Rome but that’s what I picture. Some sculptures have had their wings clipped. Nothing is labeled. For identification, I depended on our son, the Classics scholar. (Not kidding. He’s a Prof at Ohio University.)

As expected, the gardens are used for wedding pictures. But this is Miami with a lot of Hispanic culture. So 15-year old girls are also photographed for their quinceanera, a kind of coming out party–like a debutante.

As I reread this, I feel that I’ve criticized Vizcaya Museum. If you’re visiting Miami, you ought to see Vizcaya. After all, you wouldn’t come to Asheville and skip the Biltmore.

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