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Raúl Musibay: There are many great mansions in Miami.

Glenn Lindgren: Gloria Estefan, the Bee Gees, Rosie O'Donnel, Julio Iglesias, Madonna...

Jorge Castillo: ...just to name a few...

Glenn ...all have beautiful ocean side estates. There are several tour boats that can take you past these beautiful homes.

Jorge Castillo: Check them out at the Bayside Marketplace.

Raúl Musibay: However, there aren't any tours that let you go inside them. So you can only imagine what's happening inside.


Jorge Castillo: Hey, you imagine the kind of place you'd like to live in, and I'll imagine mine.

Raúl Musibay: There is a place where you can tour the inside of a great historical mansion. The Vizcaya Museum and Gardens is a real gem located just minutes from downtown and the beaches. You'll see many Cubans at Vizcaya, especially on Sundays when it's a tradition to bring out-of-town guests here.

Jorge Castillo: I imagine gold-plated faucets, bath tubs filled with whipped cream, huge rotating beds, mirrored ceilings...

Glenn Lindgren: Are you imagining someone's home or a New Orleans house of ill repute?

Viscaya Mansion

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Jorge Castillo: Vizcaya was built between 1912 and 1916 as the winter residence of James Deering, a very rich Chicago industrialist. He was one of the founders of the International Harvester Company, which must have made a lot of tractors to pay for this place.

Glenn Lindgren: If you've ever spent a winter in Chicago, you'll understand why he spent all this dough for a winter escape!

Raúl Musibay: This guy just loved Italian architecture. He put a lot of Miami guys to work on this place, and when they got done, instead of a shiny new home, poor Mr. Deering was stuck with a house that looked old.

Glenn Lindgren: They did that on purpose Raúl. Deering wanted his house to look like it was hundreds of years old when it was finished. As if he had picked one up on a trip to Venice and shipped it home.

Raúl Musibay: That could make the Guinness Book of World's Records as the world's largest souvenir.

Jorge Castillo: The mansion, formal gardens and grounds cover 30 acres overlooking Biscayne Bay. The house includes 70 rooms, many filled with paintings, antiques, sculpture, all collected by Mr. Deering.

Glenn Lindgren: The strange thing is, I've visited the place several times and there isn't a single tractor in the entire exhibit!

Raúl Musibay: Check out their list of famous guests. Not only Gloria and Julio, but a few other people you may have heard of such as Ronald Reagan, Pope John Paul II, and Queen Elizabeth II.

Glenn Lindgren: They had a big reception there recently for the King of Spain. Raúl was hoping he'd gas up his limousine at the Red Bird Citgo while he was in the neighborhood, but he never showed up.

Raúl Musibay: I sure hope he didn't fill up at the Shell station.

Raúl Musibay: Kids also love visiting Vizcaya. It's fun to explore the various rooms and the gardens are great, with a maze and everything.

Jorge Castillo: Just keep an eye on the kids so that they don't pick up that 15th century platter and use it for a Frisbee.

Glenn Lindgren: Yes, the people who run the place really do frown on that!

HOURS: Open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (When the ticket booth closes.) However, you can tour the house until 5:00 p.m. and then wander around the gardens until 5:30 p.m.

Look for guided tours at various times, especially when they are busy, when they run them hourly.

The Details

Viscaya Mansion
3251 South Miami Avenue
Miami, FL 33129

Jorge Castillo: Each year they have an Italian Renaissance Festival in March with the usual Renaissance characters: musicians, jugglers, street performers, battling knights, a giant chess board with human pieces, great food, and yes, even a few mimes.

Glenn Lindgren: To avoid the mimes, just do what we do. Hide behind a nearby shrub and NEVER make eye contact.

Jorge Castillo: After several minutes they will get discouraged and wander off to entertain some other unsuspecting victim.

This new Kindle version contains all of the recipes and editorial copy from the original print edition. As a bonus, the new Kindle edition includes 24 new photos of the prepared dishes.



This new Kindle version contains all of the recipes and editorial copy from the original print edition. As a bonus, the new Kindle edition includes 14 new photos of the prepared dishes.


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Cuban, Spanish, and Latin American food recipes, Miami/Little Havana Travel Guide, Miami Restaurant Guide, Hispanic Culture & Food
The Three Guys From Miami are: Raúl Musibay, Glenn Lindgren, and Jorge Castillo
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