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Famous Homes in Sarasota - Ca dZan

Ca' d'Zan - Home of John Ringling

Sarasota Ringling Home
Sarasota's neighborhoods are teeming with gorgeous, modern, waterfront homes, but one building still stands out nearly a century after it was first built. One of the most beautiful and historic homes in Sarasota, the Ca' d'Zan, was restored to its former glory at the turn of this century. Today, the bayfront mansion's Venetian-inspired architecture and opulent furnishings are just as impressive as they were in 1926, when the Ringling family moved in and hosted glamorous parties on the water.

Whether you want to step back into the Roaring Twenties, catch a gorgeous sunset, or learn more about Sarasota's history as a circus town, this mansion-turned-museum is a must. Here are some of our favorite things to do at the Ca' d'Zan.

Sarasota's World-class architecture

Admire World-Class European Architecture

When circus magnate John Ringling started building the Ca' d'Zan ("House of John") in 1926, his family was one of the wealthiest in the world. Instead of pinning their dream homes on Pinterest, they traveled through Europe for inspiration, and the authentic masterpiece is a great example of Venetian and Spanish architecture from the 1800's. The Ringlings spent $1.65 million (more than $20 million today) and imported most of their materials – and design ideas – from Europe, and the manicured grounds and well-preserved mansion may transport you to the middle of Italy with their authentic details. For example, the roof is tiled with a cargo ship's worth of salvaged Spanish antique tiles, and the home itself is modeled after the Doge's Palace in Venice, Italy.

Enjoy Gorgeous Sunsets Over Sarasota Bay

There are plenty of places to watch the sunset in Sarasota, but this mansion offers one of the oldest and most beautiful vantage points. As the sun begins to set over Sarasota every night, bursts of color illuminate the blue bay and cast a golden glow over the Ca' d'Zan's marble walls. Once a month, donors gather on the outdoor terrace for live music and gourmet dinners during this natural spectacle. It's easy to see why Mable Ringling commissioned a custom dock and gondola for the property. In the 1920's, servants would take Mable and her friends for picturesque sunset gondola rides along the shore. Towering Banyan trees, colorful gardens, a six-story tower, and a patio right on the sea wall complete the picturesque outdoor experience.

Take a Walk through the Ringling Family's Life

The mansion was donated to the State of Florida in the late 1930's, but it deteriorated so much in the decades to come that Ethan Hawke and Gwyneth Paltrow filmed Great Expectations there in 1996. By then, the dilapidated mansion was the perfect fit for a reclusive Dickensian widow's dusty, crumbling manor. Fortunately, that's all changed, and the well-restored mansion now looks a lot like it did when the Ringlings first moved in. Renovations began in 2002, and today the mansion is meticulously restored and furnished with much of its original artwork, décor, and furniture. Restored murals by famous artists depict vivid circus and Renaissance scenes customized for the Ringlings themselves. Even clothing in the closets, liquor bottles in the bar, and silver in the butler's pantry are original possessions of the Ringling family.

Our REALTORS® are eager to help families like the Ringlings start a beautiful new chapter in Sarasota, Florida. Whether you want a mansion on the bay or an apartment downtown, we will make sure your search is productive and your deal is fair. Contact Wagner Realty today to find a real estate professional that can help you find your dream home in Sarasota.

Contact Wagner Realty


Longboat Key Maintenance-Free Living

Discover Maintenance-Free Living in Longboat Key

Longboat Key Communities

Longboat Key is a town divided between Florida's Manatee and Sarasota counties.  The charms of this tropical, Gulf Coast community are endless with 12 miles of secluded, sandy white beaches. Ask anyone who owns a maintenance-free home in Longboat Key and they'll tell you it's the best choice they ever made. Our REALTORS® have all the information you need to join this maintenance-free living style--trading bleak winters for alluring beaches and plenty of sunshine.

Activities Abound in Longboat Key

  • Beaches
    The stunning beaches along the Gulf of Mexico Drive are clean and easy to get to. You might even catch a glimpse of the manatees swimming by. You'll see beachcombers sifting through the soft sand and collecting shells along the shore. Longboat Keys' world-famous Coquina and Siesta Key beaches mean more than just sunshine. You can also enjoy a picnic in shaded picnic areas or have a barbecue with friends.

  • Dining and Shopping
    Imagine enjoying dinner at an outdoor café under the shade of an umbrella at St. Armands's Circle or dining on European cuisine or fresh seafood like stone crabs and oysters. Whether you're in the mood for a steak, pizza or roasted duckling, you can find it in Longboat Key. Stroll through local shops featuring whimsical jewelry, clothing, and leather specialties or high-end stores.

  • Arts and Culture
    One of the benefits of maintenance-free living is that you don't have to spend your time keeping up with your property. That frees up your days for learning new things at the Longboat Key Education Center. Catering to adults, the center presents courses in yoga, tai chi and performing arts. You can find more art and culture in nearby Sarasota. Some say it is Florida's cultural capital with over two-million visitors to their arts and cultural events each year.

  • Sports and Recreation
    Maybe you like to spend your free time outdoors (why not, you live in Florida). Well, Longboat Key has plenty for you to do from riding your bike along the many cycling trails to taking a kayak tour. If you're a golf or tennis enthusiast, the Resort at Longboat Key Club offers professional tennis courts and a pro-level golf course.

Benefits of Maintenance-Free Living in Longboat Key

Whether you're a beach comber, club hopper or nature lover, maintenance-free living homes in Longboat Key are the answer to your new way of living. When you tour Longboat Key condominiums and homes, you'll soon understand why so many opt for a maintenance-free lifestyle.

  • Amenities
    Maintenance-free living in Longboat Key places all the conveniences at your fingertips. Many maintenance-free communities offer clubhouses, swimming pools and fitness centers.
  • Travel
    If you have always wanted to travel but the responsibility of maintaining your home held you back, taking advantage of maintenance-free living will give you time for travel. Plan that trip you've always dreamed of once our Longboat Key REALTORS® find your new home.

  • Free Time
    Leave home maintenance to someone else. Homeowner's association contracts provide for such home maintenance chores like lawn mowing, trimming shrubs, mulching, painting and roof repair.

Contact Wagner Realty to introduce you to the world of maintenance-free living in Longboat Key, FL. Our REALTORS® in Longboat Key have the market knowledge and experience to help you search for the perfect home in Florida for you.

Contact Wagner Realty

Disclaimer: All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. All properties are subject to prior sale, change or withdrawal. Neither listing broker(s) or information provider(s) shall be responsible for any typographical errors, misinformation, misprints and shall be held totally harmless. Listing(s) information is provided for consumers personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. Information on this site was last updated 03/23/2023. The listing information on this page last changed on 03/23/2023. The data relating to real estate for sale on this website comes in part from the Internet Data Exchange program of Stellar MLS (last updated Thu 03/23/2023 6:43:49 PM EST). Real estate listings held by brokerage firms other than Wagner Realty may be marked with the Internet Data Exchange logo and detailed information about those properties will include the name of the listing broker(s) when required by the MLS. All rights reserved. --

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