Not what you’d expect to find, even in outer Miami. This palatial house on Biscayne Bay was built by industrialist James Deering with no expense spared in the early 20th century, but modelled on an Italian Renaissance villa. Set in luscious gardens with 400-year-old trees and an exceptional orchid collection, its 30-odd rooms offer a mad romp through grand, though not necessarily accurate, European decorating styles. They are filled with precious artworks, objets and furniture that range from Roman artefacts and Renaissance tapestries to historic Chinese porcelain and 20th century paintings and sculpture. Warning: after a visit, you will bore everyone you meet, insisting just how much they need to visit it too. §

Vizcaya ceiling, Miami

Ceiling inside Vizcaya Museum and Gardens. Photography: Ben Sumner

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