Italia Spring 2020 As Texts: Victoria Duran

Victoria Duran is a Junior at Florida International University and apart of FIU’s Honors College. She is majoring in Marketing with a certificate in Social Media and E marketing Analytics. She is interested in event planning and hopes to one day work creating campaigns for Production companies such as Warner Bros. or Sony Pictures. She is set to graduate in the the Spring of 2021 and will be traveling with Professor Bailly to Italy during the Summer of 2020.

“ James Deering knew what he wanted” by Victoria Duran of FIU at Vizcaya Museum & Gardens

Photo By: Victoria Duran

I have lived in Miami my whole life, but I had never visited Vizcaya before this day. Before our visit, I had no idea what to expect other than beautiful architecture, which was a given. Vizcaya went far beyond all of my expectations. The property may look as if it was brought from another country and dropped randomly in Miami, but I feel like that perfectly represents much of what Miami is founded on. Many people have come to Miami and have held strongly onto their cultures and traditions and have proudly integrated this into Miami society. James Deering knew what he liked and what he wanted and thus created Vizcaya as we know it now: a gorgeous home that melts together many different cultures.

My class looked specifically at Vizcaya’s Italian influences which were relevant throughout the property. One of the sculptures that most stuck with me was the miniature version of the Boy with thorn or ” The Spinario,” which is a symbol of a known Roman legend of a boy who was so committed to his country he ran with a thorn in his foot to deliver an important message and did not stop as his country was more important than himself. Vizcaya also has a lot of French influences and something that stuck out to me was a stain glass window panel at the top of the stairs with the saying “J’ai dit (I have spoken).” This stuck out to me as it was a subtle detail that held a lot of power from James Deering, especially as it likened him to Christianity’s God.

Overall, I was blown away with everything that I discovered about Vizcaya. I am excited to visit again someday and continue exploring everything the property has to offer.