There is much more than I expected here. We started with a tour of the Ringling Mansion -- built to resemble a Venetian palazzo, with a marble terrace jutting out over the water. The interior is fabulous, with so many paintings and beautiful objects you don't know where to look first. For five extra dollars you get a tour of the second floor. I loved the fanciful and elaborate ceilings -- different in every room -- and the chandeliers and furnishings. Then we moved on to the circus museum which contains many colorful and unique objects from posters, to costumes, to the customized train cars the Ringlings traveled in. Next stop was the art museum where I was blown away by the quality of the art -- Rubens, Rembrandt, Franz Hals, Velasquez, to name just a few, with a beautiful courtyard in the center. It was not at all crowded so you are actually able to look closely at these artworks and enjoy them to the fullest. We spent five hours here and loved every minute. It is well worth a visit.
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