The Assassination of Giovanni Versace premieres January 17, 2017
The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story premieres Wednesday, Jan. 17 at 10 p.m. ET on FX.
A dangerous obsession becomes an unthinkable tragedy in the nine-episode, second installment of Ryan Murphy’s critically acclaimed and award-winning anthology series. Iconic fashion designer Gianni Versace (Ramirez) is killed on the steps of his Miami home by serial murderer Andrew Cunanan (Criss) – but family remains and the truth cannot be buried.
The murders weren’t famous until the victim was. Starring Darren Criss (Glee), Edgar Ramirez (The Bourne Ultimatum), Academy Award-winner Penelope Cruz (Vicky Cristina Barcelona ), and singer Ricky Martin. Cruz stars as Gianni’s sister, Donatella Versace, and Martin as Gianni’s romantic partner, Antonio D’Amico.
Viewers can catch up on their favourite FX programming next day, post broadcast, on the authenticated FXNOW Canada app for iOS, Android, and fourth-generation Apple TV.
Viewers intrigued by the Gianni Versace murder case featured in the new season of “American Crime Story” can retrace the fashion designer’s steps at his former mansion in South Beach. Tourists stop on its stone front steps every day to pose for pictures where Versace was fatally shot by serial killer Andrew Cunanan in 1997. There’s more to the Mediterranean-style mansion than Versace’s death, however.
Now a boutique hotel, The Villa Casa Casuarina , Versace’s former home still reflects his glamorous designs and opulent lifestyle. Visitors can swim in the pool he lined with 24-karat gold tiles, sleep on double-king-sized beds so large they require custom-made sheets, gaze at the ocean from his rooftop observatory and dine in a gourmet restaurant established in his former dining room.
A resident artist maintains the mosaics and frescos that Versace had made for the property, including designs showcasing his signature snake-haired Medusa head, said Chauncey Copeland, the hotel’s general manager.
“We actually have preserved what Versace created here and just augmented it with some modern touches for the convenience of our hotel guests and restaurant patrons,” Copeland said.
Versace spent US $33 million renovating the three-story building he purchased in 1992. It was originally an apartment complex built in 1930 by Standard Oil heir Alden Freeman. After Versace’s death, his family sold the property. The Villa Casa Casuarina now is part of the Victor Hotels group, which acquired the mansion at a 2013 auction for US $41.5 million.
The opportunity to sleep in Versace’s former bedroom stands out among other luxury hotel experiences, even in glitzy South Beach, said Joey Cargill, of Manila, the Philippines, a hotel guest relaxing in the pool just after Christmas.
“It’s just the history, and Versace was an artist, and I kind of consider myself a little bit of an artist. Maybe I can grasp a little bit of that, in a different fashion,” Cargill said.
To live like Versace is to live large, transforming the most ordinary things into outrageous memories. “I can’t even hit all sides of the bed, it’s so big. I just take a corner of it,” Cargill said.
The cast and crew spent about a month filming at the hotel, Copeland said. “It’s really striking just how accurate they are,” he said.
About the Author
Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on travel, lifestyle, entertainment and hospitality. He has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He enjoys discovering delicious eats, tasting spirited treats, and being mesmerized by musical beats.