After the White House and Graceland, Versace’s Mediterranean-style mansion is the third most photographed home in America. Casa Casuarina, also known as the Versace Mansion was made famous by fashion designer Gianni Versace when he purchased the property in 1992. Even greater popularity of the house among Versace’s fans came after FX series The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story, which filmed in part in the actual Casa Casuarina.
“The entire opening of the show was completely shot in the Versace mansion, in the interior. Then we shot the exterior quite a bit, especially the pool area and first courtyard,” says Judy Becker, American Crime Story’s production designer.
Now a boutique hotel (acquired by Victor Hotels in September 2013), The Villa Casa Casuarina, still reveals much of its original character, and speaks for itself. It has 10 incredible suites where guests can sleep on double-king-sized beds so large they require custom-made sheets. They also cancan swim in the pool he lined with 24-karat gold tiles, gaze at the ocean from his rooftop observatory and experience Italian and Mediterranean dishes in a gourmet restaurant simply called Gianni’s established in his former dining room.
Versace purchased the home and spent over $35 million on an elaborate renovation and expansion. Twenty-four-karat gold tiles, ceiling frescoes and Medusa mosaics adorned just about every surface. In most rooms, they still do. The mansion was also a major destination for the glitterati, including frequent visits from Donatella and the likes of Cher, Madonna and Elton John.