the villa estate

Exhibitions

16 Mar

A Century from Sopra Mare

March 16, 2024 – December 22, 2024
(Happening Now)

Uncover the hidden histories of the Villa Terrace — from private residence to iconic Milwaukee landmark.

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18 Apr

Dyed Well

April 18, 2024 – October 13, 2024
(Happening Now)

"Dyed Well" is a survey exhibition highlighting the weaving and rug hooking practice of Wisconsin artist Emily ‘Emmy’ Robertson.

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26 Jun

We are Reflections: Celeste Contreras Skierski

June 26, 2024 – December 15, 2024
(Happening Now)

We are Reflections: Celeste Contreras Skierski preview image

Experience the spiritual and meditative work of Villa Artist-in-Residence Celeste Contreras Skierski in her solo exhibition "We Are Reflections."

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Events

17 Jul

Museum Closed

July 17, 2024 | 10:00 a.m. – 11:59 p.m.

The Museum is closed to the public today. We will reopen on Thursday.

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21 Jul

Summer Yoga at the Villa Terrace

July 21, 2024 | 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Enjoy a guided hour of yoga on the terrace led by a local instructor. Pre-register today!

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21 Jul

Chess Class with Chessbox Academy

July 21, 2024 | 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Learn chess with Chessbox Academy teacher Kanei Jackson at the Villa.

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21 Jul

Café Sopra Mare

July 21, 2024 | 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Enjoy a musical performance in the Mercury Courtyard with coffee and tea. The perfect start to the new week!

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24 Jul

Work from Home Wednesday: coworking session at the Villa

July 24, 2024 | 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Co-work at the Villa Terrace Art Museum with fellow remote workers on Wednesday afternoons.

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27 Jul

Breathwork in the Garden

July 27, 2024 | 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Discover the transformative power of breathwork with trauma-informed breathwork practitioner and improve your physical and mental well-being.

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28 Jul

Summer Yoga at the Villa Terrace

July 28, 2024 | 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Enjoy a guided hour of yoga on the terrace led by a local instructor. Pre-register today!

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28 Jul

Chess Class with Chessbox Academy

July 28, 2024 | 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Learn chess with Chessbox Academy teacher Kanei Jackson at the Villa.

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28 Jul

Café Sopra Mare

July 28, 2024 | 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Enjoy a musical performance in the Mercury Courtyard with coffee and tea. The perfect start to the new week!

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31 Jul

Work from Home Wednesday: coworking session at the Villa

July 31, 2024 | 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Co-work at the Villa Terrace Art Museum with fellow remote workers on Wednesday afternoons.

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31 Jul

Guided Tour of the Villa

July 31, 2024 | 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Enjoy a guided tour of the Villa Terrace from its history to its exhibitions.

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1 Aug

Free Admission Thursday

August 01, 2024 | 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Enjoy free admission to the Villa Terrace on the first Thursday of the month.

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3 Aug

Breathwork in the Garden

August 03, 2024 | 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Discover the transformative power of breathwork with trauma-informed breathwork practitioner and improve your physical and mental well-being.

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4 Aug

Summer Yoga at the Villa Terrace

August 04, 2024 | 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Enjoy a guided hour of yoga on the terrace led by a local instructor. Pre-register today!

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4 Aug

Chess Class with Chessbox Academy

August 04, 2024 | 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Learn chess with Chessbox Academy teacher Kanei Jackson at the Villa.

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4 Aug

Café Sopra Mare

August 04, 2024 | 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Enjoy a musical performance in the Mercury Courtyard with coffee and tea. The perfect start to the new week!

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7 Aug

Work from Home Wednesday: coworking session at the Villa

August 07, 2024 | 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Co-work at the Villa Terrace Art Museum with fellow remote workers on Wednesday afternoons.

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10 Aug

Gaga Yoga: parent and baby yoga class

August 10, 2024 | 9:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Enjoy a guided yoga session for you and your baby.

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10 Aug

Breathwork in the Garden

August 10, 2024 | 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Discover the transformative power of breathwork with trauma-informed breathwork practitioner and improve your physical and mental well-being.

Read More
11 Aug

Summer Yoga at the Villa Terrace

August 11, 2024 | 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Enjoy a guided hour of yoga on the terrace led by a local instructor. Pre-register today!

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11 Aug

Chess Class with Chessbox Academy

August 11, 2024 | 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Learn chess with Chessbox Academy teacher Kanei Jackson at the Villa.

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11 Aug

Café Sopra Mare

August 11, 2024 | 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Enjoy a musical performance in the Mercury Courtyard with coffee and tea. The perfect start to the new week!

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14 Aug

Work from Home Wednesday: coworking session at the Villa

August 14, 2024 | 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Co-work at the Villa Terrace Art Museum with fellow remote workers on Wednesday afternoons.

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17 Aug

Breathwork in the Garden

August 17, 2024 | 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Discover the transformative power of breathwork with trauma-informed breathwork practitioner and improve your physical and mental well-being.

Read More
18 Aug

Summer Yoga at the Villa Terrace

August 18, 2024 | 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Enjoy a guided hour of yoga on the terrace led by a local instructor. Pre-register today!

Read More
18 Aug

Chess Class with Chessbox Academy

August 18, 2024 | 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Learn chess with Chessbox Academy teacher Kanei Jackson at the Villa.

Read More
18 Aug

Café Sopra Mare

August 18, 2024 | 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Enjoy a musical performance in the Mercury Courtyard with coffee and tea. The perfect start to the new week!

Read More
21 Aug

Work from Home Wednesday: coworking session at the Villa

August 21, 2024 | 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Co-work at the Villa Terrace Art Museum with fellow remote workers on Wednesday afternoons.

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24 Aug

Gaga Yoga: parent and baby yoga class

August 24, 2024 | 9:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Enjoy a guided yoga session for you and your baby.

Read More
24 Aug

Breathwork in the Garden

August 24, 2024 | 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Discover the transformative power of breathwork with trauma-informed breathwork practitioner and improve your physical and mental well-being.

Read More
25 Aug

Summer Yoga at the Villa Terrace

August 25, 2024 | 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Enjoy a guided hour of yoga on the terrace led by a local instructor. Pre-register today!

Read More
25 Aug

Chess Class with Chessbox Academy

August 25, 2024 | 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Learn chess with Chessbox Academy teacher Kanei Jackson at the Villa.

Read More
25 Aug

Café Sopra Mare

August 25, 2024 | 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Enjoy a musical performance in the Mercury Courtyard with coffee and tea. The perfect start to the new week!

Read More
28 Aug

Work from Home Wednesday: coworking session at the Villa

August 28, 2024 | 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Co-work at the Villa Terrace Art Museum with fellow remote workers on Wednesday afternoons.

Read More
28 Aug

Guided Tour of the Villa

August 28, 2024 | 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Enjoy a guided tour of the Villa Terrace from its history to its exhibitions.

Read More
31 Aug

Breathwork in the Garden

August 31, 2024 | 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Discover the transformative power of breathwork with trauma-informed breathwork practitioner and improve your physical and mental well-being.

Read More
1 Sep

Summer Yoga at the Villa Terrace

September 01, 2024 | 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Enjoy a guided hour of yoga on the terrace led by a local instructor. Pre-register today!

Read More
1 Sep

Chess Class with Chessbox Academy

September 01, 2024 | 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Learn chess with Chessbox Academy teacher Kanei Jackson at the Villa.

Read More
1 Sep

Café Sopra Mare

September 01, 2024 | 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Enjoy a musical performance in the Mercury Courtyard with coffee and tea. The perfect start to the new week!

Read More
4 Sep

Work from Home Wednesday: coworking session at the Villa

September 04, 2024 | 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Co-work at the Villa Terrace Art Museum with fellow remote workers on Wednesday afternoons.

Read More
5 Sep

Free Admission Thursday

September 05, 2024 | 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Enjoy free admission to the Villa Terrace on the first Thursday of the month.

Read More
7 Sep

Breathwork in the Garden

September 07, 2024 | 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Discover the transformative power of breathwork with trauma-informed breathwork practitioner and improve your physical and mental well-being.

Read More
8 Sep

Summer Yoga at the Villa Terrace

September 08, 2024 | 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Enjoy a guided hour of yoga on the terrace led by a local instructor. Pre-register today!

Read More
8 Sep

Chess Class with Chessbox Academy

September 08, 2024 | 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Learn chess with Chessbox Academy teacher Kanei Jackson at the Villa.

Read More
8 Sep

Café Sopra Mare

September 08, 2024 | 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Enjoy a musical performance in the Mercury Courtyard with coffee and tea. The perfect start to the new week!

Read More
11 Sep

Work from Home Wednesday: coworking session at the Villa

September 11, 2024 | 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Co-work at the Villa Terrace Art Museum with fellow remote workers on Wednesday afternoons.

Read More
14 Sep

Gaga Yoga: parent and baby yoga class

September 14, 2024 | 9:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Enjoy a guided yoga session for you and your baby.

Read More
14 Sep

Breathwork in the Garden

September 14, 2024 | 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Discover the transformative power of breathwork with trauma-informed breathwork practitioner and improve your physical and mental well-being.

Read More
15 Sep

Summer Yoga at the Villa Terrace

September 15, 2024 | 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Enjoy a guided hour of yoga on the terrace led by a local instructor. Pre-register today!

Read More
15 Sep

Chess Class with Chessbox Academy

September 15, 2024 | 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Learn chess with Chessbox Academy teacher Kanei Jackson at the Villa.

Read More
15 Sep

Café Sopra Mare

September 15, 2024 | 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Enjoy a musical performance in the Mercury Courtyard with coffee and tea. The perfect start to the new week!

Read More
18 Sep

Work from Home Wednesday: coworking session at the Villa

September 18, 2024 | 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Co-work at the Villa Terrace Art Museum with fellow remote workers on Wednesday afternoons.

Read More
21 Sep

Breathwork in the Garden

September 21, 2024 | 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Discover the transformative power of breathwork with trauma-informed breathwork practitioner and improve your physical and mental well-being.

Read More
22 Sep

Summer Yoga at the Villa Terrace

September 22, 2024 | 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Enjoy a guided hour of yoga on the terrace led by a local instructor. Pre-register today!

Read More
22 Sep

Chess Class with Chessbox Academy

September 22, 2024 | 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Learn chess with Chessbox Academy teacher Kanei Jackson at the Villa.

Read More
22 Sep

Café Sopra Mare

September 22, 2024 | 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Enjoy a musical performance in the Mercury Courtyard with coffee and tea. The perfect start to the new week!

Read More
25 Sep

Work from Home Wednesday: coworking session at the Villa

September 25, 2024 | 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Co-work at the Villa Terrace Art Museum with fellow remote workers on Wednesday afternoons.

Read More
25 Sep

Guided Tour of the Villa

September 25, 2024 | 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Enjoy a guided tour of the Villa Terrace from its history to its exhibitions.

Read More
28 Sep

Gaga Yoga: parent and baby yoga class

September 28, 2024 | 9:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Enjoy a guided yoga session for you and your baby.

Read More
28 Sep

Breathwork in the Garden

September 28, 2024 | 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Discover the transformative power of breathwork with trauma-informed breathwork practitioner and improve your physical and mental well-being.

Read More
29 Sep

Summer Yoga at the Villa Terrace

September 29, 2024 | 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Enjoy a guided hour of yoga on the terrace led by a local instructor. Pre-register today!

Read More
29 Sep

Chess Class with Chessbox Academy

September 29, 2024 | 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Learn chess with Chessbox Academy teacher Kanei Jackson at the Villa.

Read More
29 Sep

Café Sopra Mare

September 29, 2024 | 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Enjoy a musical performance in the Mercury Courtyard with coffee and tea. The perfect start to the new week!

Read More
2 Oct

Work from Home Wednesday: coworking session at the Villa

October 02, 2024 | 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Co-work at the Villa Terrace Art Museum with fellow remote workers on Wednesday afternoons.

Read More
3 Oct

Free Admission Thursday

October 03, 2024 | 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Enjoy free admission to the Villa Terrace on the first Thursday of the month.

Read More
9 Oct

Work from Home Wednesday: coworking session at the Villa

October 09, 2024 | 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Co-work at the Villa Terrace Art Museum with fellow remote workers on Wednesday afternoons.

Read More
16 Oct

Work from Home Wednesday: coworking session at the Villa

October 16, 2024 | 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Co-work at the Villa Terrace Art Museum with fellow remote workers on Wednesday afternoons.

Read More
23 Oct

Work from Home Wednesday: coworking session at the Villa

October 23, 2024 | 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Co-work at the Villa Terrace Art Museum with fellow remote workers on Wednesday afternoons.

Read More
30 Oct

Work from Home Wednesday: coworking session at the Villa

October 30, 2024 | 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Co-work at the Villa Terrace Art Museum with fellow remote workers on Wednesday afternoons.

Read More
30 Oct

Guided Tour of the Villa

October 30, 2024 | 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Enjoy a guided tour of the Villa Terrace from its history to its exhibitions.

Read More
6 Nov

Work from Home Wednesday: coworking session at the Villa

November 06, 2024 | 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Co-work at the Villa Terrace Art Museum with fellow remote workers on Wednesday afternoons.

Read More
7 Nov

Free Admission Thursday

November 07, 2024 | 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Enjoy free admission to the Villa Terrace on the first Thursday of the month.

Read More
13 Nov

Work from Home Wednesday: coworking session at the Villa

November 13, 2024 | 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Co-work at the Villa Terrace Art Museum with fellow remote workers on Wednesday afternoons.

Read More
20 Nov

Work from Home Wednesday: coworking session at the Villa

November 20, 2024 | 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Co-work at the Villa Terrace Art Museum with fellow remote workers on Wednesday afternoons.

Read More
5 Dec

Free Admission Thursday

December 05, 2024 | 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Enjoy free admission to the Villa Terrace on the first Thursday of the month.

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2 Jan

Free Admission Thursday

January 02, 2025 | 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Enjoy free admission to the Villa Terrace on the first Thursday of the month.

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6 Feb

Free Admission Thursday

February 06, 2025 | 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Enjoy free admission to the Villa Terrace on the first Thursday of the month.

Read More
6 Mar

Free Admission Thursday

March 06, 2025 | 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Enjoy free admission to the Villa Terrace on the first Thursday of the month.

Read More
3 Apr

Free Admission Thursday

April 03, 2025 | 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Enjoy free admission to the Villa Terrace on the first Thursday of the month.

Read More
1 May

Free Admission Thursday

May 01, 2025 | 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Enjoy free admission to the Villa Terrace on the first Thursday of the month.

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5 Jun

Free Admission Thursday

June 05, 2025 | 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Enjoy free admission to the Villa Terrace on the first Thursday of the month.

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Explore Villa Terrace

Mercury Courtyard

The Mercury Courtyard is a charming cloister now dominated by the statue of Mercury, the mythical messenger of the gods. It’s surrounded by a vaulted loggia with Tuscan columns and grilled Italian windows.

Take a Tour

Great Hall

The Great Hall was the Smiths’ family room and was often used to entertain guests. The ceiling beams in the room are Georgia Pecky Cypress with white, blue and yellow stenciling.

Take a Tour

Dining Room

Like that of the Great Hall, the dining room's ceiling is made from beamed Georgia Pecky Cypress.

Take a Tour

Library

The Queen Anne-style wood paneling in the library is walnut and was installed by the Matthew Brothers of Milwaukee.

Take a Tour
Colnik profile

Colnik Collection

Overview

The Cyril Colnik exhibition, located in the second-floor south-wing galleries, is a showcase of metal works made by Milwaukee ironsmith Cyril Colnik (1871–1958).

SEE MORE PIECES OF COLNIK'S WORK
Iron and Deer Antlers
Iron and Deer Antlers
Iron and Deer Antlers

Sconce

This sconce with three candleholders was constructed from a deer antler wrapped in iron.

Iron, deer antler 20 Inches high 1938

Masterpiece

Pictured is the centerpiece of a large grille that was Cyril Colnik’s “Masterpiece,” which demonstrated the mastery of metalworking techniques an apprentice was required to show to be named a master craftsman.

Iron 48 x 35 x 7.5 inches c. 1893

Dancing Dragon

This dynamic iron figure is dubbed the “Dancing Dragon.”

Iron 28 x 16 inches n.d.

Our Story

Lloyd and Agnes Smith

Lloyd Raymond Smith was born in 1883. He attended West Division High School in Milwaukee and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, before following his father into the family business — the A.O. Smith Corporation. Agnes Gram was born in 1893. Lloyd and Agnes married in 1915, two years after Lloyd had become president of A.O. Smith. It is said that Agnes wanted to build a unique house that reflected her love of architecture and design.

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David Adler

The Smiths hired the renowned architect and Milwaukee native David Adler (1883–1949) to build their dream home. The idea to build a home in the style of a sixteenth-century Northern Italian villa came on a trip to Italy after their marriage in 1915. Choosing between two Milwaukee sites, they settled on its present location, with Adler reportedly saying, “Let Lake Michigan be my Mediterranean.” Fittingly, the original name for the home was Sopra Mare (“above the sea” in Italian).

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Rose Standish Nichols

Rose Standish Nichols (1872–1960) was a landscape architect, writer, suffragist, and peace activist. She collaborated with Villa Terrace architect David Adler on the design of the Sopra Mare garden and its water stairway, which were probably adapted from the layout of the sixteenth-century Villa Cicogna-Mozzoni garden that she described in her book, Italian Pleasure Gardens, published in 1928.

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The Villa Today

Today Villa Terrace and its Renaissance Garden are zoned as Milwaukee County parkland. Together, they serve the citizens of Milwaukee through the creation and promotion of local, regional and international visual and decorative arts, and a wide range of intergenerational community arts programming that includes theater, music, arts and crafts, creative writing, poetry, and gardening.

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A.O. Smith Corp.

The story of the A.O. Smith Corporation is one of experimentation, research, and innovation. From humble beginnings as a small machine shop located in Milwaukee’s Walker’s Point neighborhood, to its growth into a global corporation, A.O. Smith was one of the first to put significant resources into research and development, constantly seeking out new technologies and their practical application for new products and services.

See the Whole Story

Host Your Event

From weddings that hearts remember to meetings that accomplish missions, Villa Terrace is the perfect place for your next event. The unparalleled beauty of a Mediterranean-style villa will surround your guests, as they appreciate tranquil views of Lake Michigan from the Terrazzo della Luna or stroll through the Renaissance Garden.

Rent Villa Terrace