The mansion became a landmark, not just as an emblem of the new celebrity status of South Beach, but for the lavish parties Versace threw, and its famous houseguests— Madonna, Princess Diana, and Elton John are all frequently cited as some of the biggest names who spent the night at Casa Casuarina. “All of a sudden, what was going on in L.A. moved here when Gianni came here,” Donatella Versace told in 2001. “All the fashion shoots were happening here. Music people, fashion people, actors—he attracted everyone here. He had that power. In the courtyard, right here, you’d see Italian architects, writers, Richard Avedon, Madonna, a mix of people.”


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