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. Donated to the state in 1936 upon John Ringling’s death, Ca’ d’Zan had fallen into utter disrepair by the 1990s. It took 6 years and $15 million to return it to mint condition. After your visit, you might agree it was money well spent.
You could easily fill a day touring the entire 66-acre Ringling complex, which also includes the Circus Museum; the Museum of Art, which houses 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
- Daily 10--5.
- Visit Website
- (941) 359-5700