In Miami, Vizcaya Museum and Gardens’ beautiful bayfront gardens are now open and tickets can be reserved online. With 10 acres of outdoor gardens, Vizcaya offers the community ample space to maintain social distance with a low-density experience. For those who are not local, go online to experience virtual tours, lectures, "zenscape" videos, performances, and find Zoom backgrounds and even a Spotify playlist with music popular from the era of homeowner James Deering.
Bachelor millionaire Deering (1859–1925) built his famed Mediterranen-style estate between 1914 and 1922, filling it with fine collections of Italian furniture and decorative elements spanning Rococo to Neoclassical styles.
Designed by Diego Suarez (1888–1974), the gardens initially were meant to resemble those at a sixteenth-century villa in Viterbo, Italy. Suarez eventually adapted his plans to fit the bayfront Florida site, creating sweeping vistas, along with exaggerated perspective lines using low hedges to dramatize the formal geometry of the gardens. Native forests flank a series of formal garden "rooms," with the central space dominated by parterres in a geometric arrangement.
The gardens feature sculptural works from antiquity to the Renaissance and Baroque periods, plus pieces from Deering's era created by artists such as Gaston Lachaise (1882–1935), Charles Cary Rumsey (1879–1922) and Robert Winthrop Chanler (1872–1930).
An extraordinary piece by Alexander Calder (1870–1945) is located in the water in front of the Main House, and titled the Barge. This piece functioned as a monumental breakwater shaped as a boat, decorated with carvings representing mythical Caribbean creatures. Original elements such as full-grown trees, a latticework pavilion and fountains have since been lost.
Vizcaya is able to open its gardens as part of Miami-Dade County Emergency Order 21-20 (EO 21-20) which allows the opening of County parks, marinas and golf courses. With safety at the forefront of reopening operations, all guests and staff must wear face coverings and maintain a social distance of 6 feet from other visitors and staff. Garden paths that are narrow will become one-way for foot traffic.
To provide a touchless admission process, all visitors must purchase tickets online at www.vizcaya.org and bring proof of purchase with them. For the latest information about Vizcaya’s reopening news, regulations and a welcoming message from Vizcaya’s executive director/CEO, visit www.vizcaya.org/welcome
Vizcaya’s extensive menu of free online experiences can be found at www.vizcaya.org/free.