I have been greeted by the wonderful South Florida (specifically Coral Gables) weather that makes living here, especially in the winter, such a pleasure. I believe it’s time to give you some background as to what makes up La Dolce Villa here in Coral Gables. Aside from being the location where our children grew up, it is visually what speaks to my inner Italian. The city was founded in 1925 by George Merrick and modeled on various cities in Europe. For Merrick, Majorca, Sevilla, Cartagena, and Malaga were not just cities in Spain, they were symbols of his American dream to develop his vast land holdings while building on Florida’s rich Spanish history. Curiously, Merrick never even went to Europe, but was aided in his vision by Denham Fink, artist/illustrator and visionary nephew.
Framed with elaborate gateways and streets embellished with plazas and fountains, much of today’s Coral Gables conveys the same Old World aura it evoked ninety years ago.
Merrick’s plan was to create a new city called “Coral Gables” named after the native rock home where he spent his childhood. He would do it in a cohesive, aesthetic style that would incorporate the visions of artists and poets, like himself, who were rapt in the fever of the Florida land boom and inspired by the simplest of beauties.
Together with a team of extraordinary designers, which included artist Denman Fink, architects H. George Fink, Phineas Paist, and landscape architect Frank Button, Merrick set out to create a unique suburb of the city of Miami. A project that would be an unrivaled beauty, constructed in the Mediterranean Revival style, featuring all the elements of the City Beautiful Movement.
So here I am, a transplanted New Yorker, with my DNA rooted in Italy, living and enjoying life at La Dolce Villa in Coral Gables. Non male (not bad)!