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Now you can tour Newport mansions from your couch

The Marble House can now be toured virtually on the Newport Mansions website.The Preservation Society of Newport County

We’ve all peeked into sprawling celebrity-owned palaces lately thanks to virtual TV specials and Instagram livestreams. Now the team that maintains Newport Mansions in Rhode Island is inviting housebound visitors to snoop around its own lavish properties.

Launched this week, a series of online tours explore the nooks and crannies of five Gilded Age houses. Each tour is 3-D, self-guided, and available free of charge (though donations are accepted via “Everybody has been through a Newport Mansion,” Preservation Society of Newport County CEO Trudy Coxe said in a statement. "But it gives you the opportunity, on a room-by-room basis, to zoom in on an object you might not have noticed.”


The Elms conservatoryThe Preservation Society of Newport County

The tours serve up plenty of glistening floors, grandiose staircases, and chandeliers to ogle. Some even include audio narration to tell about the lives of those who passed through. On the Elms tour, for example, you’ll learn about Ernest Birch, the butler, and cook Grace Rhodes. Until the pandemic subsides and its historic properties can reopen, Newport Mansions Preservation Society plans to add more videos and digital content on a regular basis.

Diti Kohli can be reached at or on Twitter at @ditikohli_.

Diti Kohli can be reached at her @ditikohli_.