Miami’s most opulent home

In a city famed for its opulent Mediterranean style villas, one stands out above the rest. Nothing can prepare you for the grandeur and beauty of the Villa Vizcaya. Built in 1914 by farm machinery mogul James Deering, this stunning recreation of a 16th century style Italian villa took 2 years and $22 million to complete.

On our Miami Bus Tour you can explore Vizcaya Museum & Gardens. Hop off the bus to experience a sensory overload in the orange jasmine maze garden, where mythological statues surprise you at every turn. Take a trip back in time through the Rococo and Renaissance antique-filled rooms of the villa and imagine what it must have been like to live here.

Preserving the past

Originally a vast mangrove jungle, Deering built his villa on the shoreline to preserve the forest surrounding it. The project included the villa, formal gardens, lagoons and service quarters.

Its construction was interrupted by the First World War, when many of the materials for the elaborate Italian style house became difficult to get hold of. Phase one was eventually finished in 1922.

Other interesting facts about Villa Vizcaya Museum & Gardens, Miami

  • More than 1,000 workers were involved in the construction of the Villa Vizcaya – one tenth of the population of Miami at the time.
  • Deering only used Vizcaya Museum & Gardens for four months a year
  • 30 staff would attend to the residents of the house during their stay
  • Mod cons including elevators, a switchboard and en-suite bathrooms were installed at a later date
  • The original estate was much larger, at around 180 acres