Ca' d’Zan Estate at The Ringling
Circus magnate John Ringling and his wife, Mable, built their magnificent Venetian Gothic--style palazzo in 1924--25 and named it Ca’ d’Zan (House of John). The mansion and its lavish gardens sit beside the bay in Sarasota, the one-time winter home of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus. The best way to see the richly adorned, 41-room, 15-bathroom property is on the 45-minute Private Places tour, which not only takes in the main living spaces, but also the more private upstairs rooms and, on nice days, the 81-foot belvedere.
It’s easy to see where the original $1.5 million construction budget went, with such luxuries as the living room’s painted cypress ceiling, the Sienna marble tub in Mr. Ringling’s bathroom, and the circus-themed game room. You’ll also learn about what it took to restore the estate (6 years and $15 million), which was donated to the state in 1936 but which had fallen into utter disrepair by the 1990s.
You could easily fill a day touring the entire Ringling complex, which also includes the Circus Museum; the Museum of Art, housing John and Mable’s enormous collection; and a café, restaurant, and museum store. The historic Asolo Theater and the Florida State University Center for the Performing Arts are also here.
5401 Bay Shore Rd.
- Sarasota, Florida 34243
- 27.38247300, -82.56187400
- Mon.--Wed. and Fri.--Sun 10--5; Thurs. 10--8.
- Visit Website
- (941) 359-5700