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with early terraced hillside
landscape A landscape is the visible features of an area of land Land is the solid surface of Earth that is not permanently submerged in water. Most but not all land is situated at elevations above sea level (variable over geologic time frames) and ...

landscape
by
Leon Battista Alberti Leon Battista Alberti (; 14 February 1404 – 25 April 1472) was an Italian Renaissance humanist author, artist, architect, poet, Catholic priest, priest, linguistics, linguist, philosopher and cryptography, cryptographer; he epitomised the Polyma ...

Leon Battista Alberti
A villa is a type of house that was originally an Ancient Rome, ancient Roman
upper-class Upper class in modern societies is the social class composed of people who hold the highest social status, usually are the economic inequality, wealthiest members of class society, and wield the greatest political power. According to this view, the ...
country house. Since its origins in the
Roman villa A Roman villa was typically a country house for wealthy people built in the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire. Typology and distribution Pliny the Elder Gaius Plinius Secundus (AD 23/2479), called Pliny the Elder (), was a Roman author, a ...
, the idea and function of a villa has evolved considerably. After the fall of the
Roman Republic The Roman Republic ( la, Rēs pūblica Rōmāna ) was a state of the ancient Rome, classical Roman civilization, run through res publica, public Representation (politics), representation of the Roman people. Beginning with the Overthrow of the ...
, villas became small farming compounds, which were increasingly fortified in
Late Antiquity Late antiquity is a periodization Periodization is the process or study of categorizing the past into discrete, quantified named blocks of time.Adam Rabinowitz. It’s about time: historical periodization and Linked Ancient World Data'. Insti ...
, sometimes transferred to the Church for reuse as a
monastery A monastery is a building or complex of buildings comprising the domestic quarters and workplaces of monastics, monk A monk (, from el, μοναχός, ''monachos'', "single, solitary" via Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical langua ...

monastery
. Then they gradually re-evolved through the
Middle Ages In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages or medieval period lasted approximately from the 5th to the late 15th centuries, similarly to the Post-classical, Post-classical period of global history. It began with the fall of the Western Roma ...
into elegant upper-class country homes. In modern parlance, "villa" can refer to various types and sizes of residences, ranging from the
suburb A suburb (or suburban area or suburbia) is a commercial Commercial may refer to: * a dose of advertising conveyed through media (such as - for example - radio or television) ** Radio advertisement ** Television advertisement * (adjective ...
an
semi-detached A semi-detached house (often abbreviated to semi) is a single family duplex dwelling house that shares one common wall A wall is a structure and a surface that defines an area; carries a load; provides security, Shelter in place, shelter, or ...
double villa to residences in the
wildland–urban interface The wildland–urban interface (WUI) is a zone of transition between wilderness (unoccupied land) and land development, land developed by human impact on the environment, human activity – an area where a built environment meets or intermingles wi ...
.


Roman

Roman villa A Roman villa was typically a country house for wealthy people built in the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire. Typology and distribution Pliny the Elder Gaius Plinius Secundus (AD 23/2479), called Pliny the Elder (), was a Roman author, a ...
s included: * the ''villa urbana'', a country seat that could easily be reached from
Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, Italy).svg , map_caption = The te ...
or another city for a night or two * the ''
villa rustica Villa rustica () was the term used by the ancient Romans to denote a villa set in the open countryside, often as the hub of a large agricultural estate (''Latifundia, latifundium''). The adjective ''rusticum'' was used to distinguish it from an urba ...

villa rustica
'', the farm-house estate that was permanently occupied by the servants who had charge generally of the estate, which would centre on the villa itself, perhaps only seasonally occupied. The Roman ''villae rusticae'' at the heart of ''
latifundia A latifundium is a very extensive parcel of privately owned land. The latifundia (Latin: ''latus'', "spacious" and ''fundus'', "farm, estate") of Roman Empire, Roman history were great landed property, landed estates specializing in agriculture dest ...
'' were the earliest versions of what later and elsewhere became called
plantation A plantation is a large-scale estate, generally centered on a plantation house, meant for farming that specializes in cash crops. The crops that are grown include cotton, coffee, tea, cocoa, sugar cane, opium, sisal, oil seeds, oil pa ...

plantation
s. * the ''
otium ''Otium'', a Latin abstract term, has a variety of meanings, including leisure time in which a person can enjoy eating, playing, resting, contemplation and academic endeavors. It sometimes, but not always, relates to a time in a person's retirem ...
villa'' Not included as ''villae'' were the ''
domus In ancient Rome, the ''domus'' (plural ''domūs'', genitive ''domūs'' or ''domī'') was the type of town house occupied by the upper classes and some wealthy freedmen during the Republican Rome, Republican and Imperial Rome, Imperial eras. It w ...

domus
'', city houses for the élite and privileged classes, and the ''
insulae The Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it ...
'', blocks of
apartment building An apartment (American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the English language native to the United States. Currently, Americ ...

apartment building
s for the rest of the population. In ''
Satyricon The ''Satyricon'', ''Satyricon'' ''liber'' (''The Book of Satyrlike Adventures''), or ''Satyrica'', is a Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was ...

Satyricon
'' (1st century CE),
Petronius Gaius Petronius Arbiter"Gaius Petronius Arbiter"
Britannica.com.
(; ; c. A ...
described the wide range of Roman dwellings. Another type of villae is the "villa maritima", a seaside villa, located on the coast. A concentration of Imperial villas existed on the
Gulf of Naples The Gulf of Naples (), also called the Bay of Naples, is a roughly 15-kilometer-wide (9.3 mi) gulf located along the south-western coast of Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links ...
, on the Isle of
Capri Capri ( , ; ; ) is an island located in the Tyrrhenian Sea off the Sorrento Peninsula, on the south side of the Gulf of Naples in the Campania region of Italy. The main town Capri (town), Capri that is located on the island shares the name. It ...

Capri
, at
Monte Circeo Monte may refer to: Places Argentina * Argentine Monte The Argentine Monte (NT0802), or Low Monte, is an ecoregion of dry thorn scrub and grasslands in Argentina. It is one of the driest regions in the country. Human settlements are mainly near wa ...
and at Antium (
Anzio Anzio (, also , ) is a city and ''comune The (; plural: ) is a basic Administrative division, constituent entity of Italy, roughly equivalent to a township or municipality. Importance and function The provides many of the basic civil f ...

Anzio
). Examples include the
Villa of the Papyri The Villa of the Papyri ( it, Villa dei Papiri, also known as ''Villa dei Pisoni'') was an ancient Roman villa in Herculaneum, in what is now Ercolano, southern Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica ...
in
Herculaneum Herculaneum ( it, Ercolano) was an ancient town, located in the modern-day ''comune The (; plural: ) is a basic Administrative division, constituent entity of Italy, roughly equivalent to a township or municipality. Importance and f ...

Herculaneum
; and the
Villa of the Mysteries The Villa of the Mysteries ( it, Villa dei Misteri) is a well-preserved suburban ancient Roman villa on the outskirts of Pompeii, southern Italy. It is famous for the series of exquisite frescos in one room, which are usually thought to show the ...
and Villa of the Vettii in
Pompeii Pompeii (, ) was an ancient city located in what is now the ''comune The (; plural: ) is a local administrative division of Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is ...

Pompeii
. There was an important villa maritima in
Barcola Barcola is a maritime neighbourhood of Trieste, Italy. It is a popular tourist place with beaches and long promenade walkways, near to the Habsburg-established Miramare, Miramare Castle. Barcola is highly valued for the high quality of life and li ...
near Trieste. This villa was located directly on the coast and was divided into terraces in a representation area in which luxury and power was displayed, a separate living area, a garden, some facilities open to the sea and a thermal bath. Not far from this noble place, which was already popular with the Romans because of its favorable microclimate, one of the most important Villa Maritima of its time, the
Miramare Castle Miramare Castle ( it, Castello di Miramare; es, Castillo de Miramar; german: Schloss Miramar; sl, Grad Miramar) is a 19th-century castle in East Sussex East Sussex is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used ...

Miramare Castle
, was built in the 19th century. Wealthy Romans also escaped the summer heat in the hills round Rome, especially around Tibur (
Tivoli Tivoli may refer to: Buildings * Tivoli (Baltimore, Maryland), a mansion built about 1855 * Tivoli Building (Cheyenne, Wyoming), a historic downtown building * Tivoli Hotel in Pirie Street, Adelaide#History and notable buildings, Pirie Street, A ...
and
Frascati Frascati () is a city and ''comune'' in the Metropolitan City of Rome Capital in the Lazio region of central Italy. It is located south-east of Rome, on the Alban Hills close to the ancient city of Tusculum. Frascati is closely associated with ...
), such as at
Hadrian's Villa Hadrian's Villa ( it, Villa Adriana) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site comprising the ruins and archaeological remains of a large Roman villa, villa complex built c. AD 120 by Roman Emperor Hadrian at Tivoli, Italy, Tivoli outside Rome. The site is ...
.
Cicero Marcus Tullius Cicero ( ; ; 3 January 106 – 7 December 43 BC) was a Ancient Rome, Roman statesman, lawyer, scholar, philosopher and Academic skepticism, Academic Skeptic, who tried to uphold republican principles during crisis of th ...

Cicero
allegedly possessed no fewer than seven villas, the oldest of which was near
Arpinum Arpino (Neapolitan language, Campanian: ) is a ''comune'' (municipality) in the province of Frosinone, in the Latin Valley, region of Lazio in central Italy, about 100 km SE of Rome. Its Roman name was Arpinum. In Roman times, the town produced ...

Arpinum
, which he inherited.
Pliny the Younger Gaius Plinius Caecilius Secundus, born Gaius Caecilius or Gaius Caecilius Cilo (61 – c. 113), better known as Pliny the Younger (), was a lawyer, author, and magistrate of Ancient Rome In historiography, ancient Rome is Roman people, Rom ...

Pliny the Younger
had three or four, of which the example near Laurentium is the best known from his descriptions. Roman writers refer with satisfaction to the self-sufficiency of their ''latifundium'' villas, where they drank their own
wine Wine is an alcoholic drink typically made from Fermentation in winemaking, fermented grapes. Yeast in winemaking, Yeast consumes the sugar in the grapes and converts it to ethanol and carbon dioxide, releasing heat in the process. Different v ...
and pressed their own
oil An oil is any nonpolar chemical substance A chemical substance is a form of matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is any substance that has mass and takes up space by having volume. All everyday objects that can b ...

oil
. This was an affectation of urban aristocrats playing at being old-fashioned virtuous Roman farmers, it has been said that the economic independence of later rural villas was a symptom of the increasing economic fragmentation of the
Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Roman Republic, Republican period of ancient Rome. As a polity it included large territorial holdings aro ...

Roman Empire
.


In Roman Britannia

Archaeologists have meticulously examined numerous Roman villas in England. Like their Italian counterparts, they were complete working agrarian societies of fields and
vineyard A vineyard ( , also ) is a plantation A plantation is a large-scale estate, generally centered on a plantation house, meant for farming that specializes in cash crops. The crops that are grown include cotton, coffee, tea, cocoa, sug ...

vineyard
s, perhaps even
tile Tiles are usually thin, square or rectangular coverings manufactured from hard-wearing material such as ceramic, Rock (geology), stone, metal, baked clay, or even glass. They are generally fixed in place in an array to cover roofs, floors, wall ...

tile
works or
quarries Stone quarry in Soignies, Hainaut (province), Belgium">Hainaut_(province).html" ;"title="Soignies, Hainaut (province)">Soignies, Hainaut (province), Belgium A quarry is a type of open-pit mine in which dimension stone, rock, construc ...

quarries
, ranged round a high-status power centre with its baths and gardens. The grand villa at
Woodchester Woodchester is a Gloucestershire Gloucestershire ( abbreviated Glos) (Welsh language, Welsh: Swydd Gaerloyw) is a Counties of England, county in South West England. The county comprises part of the Cotswold Hills, part of the flat fertile ...
preserved its
mosaic A mosaic is a pattern or image made of small regular or irregular pieces of colored stone, glass or ceramic, held in place by plaster/mortar, and covering a surface. Mosaics are often used as floor and wall decoration, and were particularly popu ...

mosaic
floors when the
Anglo-Saxon The Anglo-Saxons were a cultural group Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior Social behavior is behavior Behavior (American English) or behaviour (British English; American and British English spelling ...
parish church was built (not by chance) upon its site. Grave-diggers preparing for burials in the churchyard as late as the 18th century had to punch through the intact mosaic floors. The even more palatial ''villa rustica'' at Fishbourne near
Winchester Winchester is a cathedral city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London: R ...

Winchester
was built (uncharacteristically) as a large open rectangle, with
portico A portico is a porch A porch (from Old French ''porche'', from Latin ''porticus'' "colonnade", from ''porta'' "passage") is a room or gallery located in front of an entrance of a building. A porch is placed in front of the facade of a bui ...

portico
s enclosing gardens entered through a portico. Towards the end of the 3rd century, Roman towns in
Britain Britain usually refers to: * United Kingdom, a sovereign state in Europe comprising the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland and many smaller islands * Great Britain, the largest island in the United Kingdom * Ro ...

Britain
ceased to expand: like patricians near the centre of the empire, Roman Britons withdrew from the cities to their villas, which entered on a palatial building phase, a "golden age" of villa life. ''Villae rusticae'' are essential in the Empire's economy. Two kinds of villa-plan in Roman Britain may be characteristic of Roman villas in general. The more usual plan extended wings of rooms all opening onto a linking portico, which might be extended at right angles, even to enclose a
courtyard A courtyard or court is a circumscribed area, often surrounded by a building A building, or edifice, is a structure with a roof and walls standing more or less permanently in one place, such as a house or factory. Buildings come in a variety ...

courtyard
. The other kind featured an aisled central hall like a
basilica In Ancient Roman architecture, a basilica is a large public building with multiple functions, typically built alongside the town's Forum (Roman), forum. The basilica was in the Latin West equivalent to a stoa in the Greek East. The building g ...

basilica
, suggesting the villa owner's magisterial role. The villa buildings were often independent structures linked by their enclosed courtyards.
Timber-framed Timber framing and "post-and-beam" construction are traditional methods of building with heavy timbers, creating structures using squared-off and carefully fitted and Woodworking joints, joined timbers with joints secured by large wooden pegs. ...
construction, carefully fitted with
mortises and tenons
mortises and tenons
and
dowel A dowel is a cylindrical wikt:rod, rod, usually made of wood, plastic, or metal. In its original manufactured form, a dowel is called a ''dowel rod''. Dowel rods are often cut into short lengths called dowel pins. Dowels are commonly used as struc ...
led together, set on stone footings, were the rule, replaced by stone buildings for the important ceremonial rooms. Traces of window
glass Glass is a non- crystalline, often transparency and translucency, transparent amorphous solid, that has widespread practical, technological, and decorative use in, for example, window panes, tableware, and optics. Glass is most often formed by ...
have been found, as well as ironwork window
grille Grill or grille may refer to: Food * Barbecue grill grill A barbecue grill is a device that cooks food by applying heat from below. There are several varieties of grills, with most falling into one of three categories: natural gas, gas-fueled, ...
s.


Monastery villas of Late Antiquity

With the decline and collapse of the
Western Roman Empire The Western Roman Empire comprises the western provinces of the Roman Empire at any time during which they were administered by a separate independent Imperial court; in particular, this term is used in historiography to describe the period from ...

Western Roman Empire
in the fourth and fifth centuries, the villas were more and more isolated and came to be protected by walls. In England the villas were abandoned,
looted Looting is the act of stealing, or the taking of goods by force, in the midst of a military, political, or other social crisis, such as war, natural disasters (where law and civil enforcement are temporarily ineffective), or rioting. The proceed ...
, and burned by
Anglo-Saxon The Anglo-Saxons were a cultural group Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior Social behavior is behavior Behavior (American English) or behaviour (British English; American and British English spelling ...
invaders in the fifth century, but the concept of an isolated, self-sufficient agrarian working community, housed close together, survived into Anglo-Saxon culture as the ''
villVill is a term used in English history to describe the basic rural land unit, roughly comparable to that of a parish, manorialism, manor, village or tithing. Medieval developments The vill was the smallest territorial and administrative unit—a geo ...
'', with its inhabitants – if formally bound to the land – as ''
villein A villein, otherwise known as ''cottar Cotter, cottier, cottar, or is the German or Scots term for a peasant A peasant is a pre-industrial agricultural laborer or a farmer with limited land-ownership, especially one living in the Middl ...
s''. In regions on the Continent,
aristocrats Aristocracy ( grc-gre, ἀριστοκρατία , from 'excellent', and , 'rule') is a form of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state. In the case of its bro ...
and territorial magnates donated large working villas and overgrown abandoned ones to individual
monk A monk (, from el, μοναχός, ''monachos'', "single, solitary" via Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area ...

monk
s; these might become the nuclei of
monasteries A monastery is a building or complex of buildings comprising the domestic quarters and workplaces of monastics, monk A monk (, from el, μοναχός, ''monachos'', "single, solitary" via Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical langua ...

monasteries
. In this way, the Italian villa system of
late Antiquity Late antiquity is a periodization Periodization is the process or study of categorizing the past into discrete, quantified named blocks of time.Adam Rabinowitz. It’s about time: historical periodization and Linked Ancient World Data'. Insti ...
survived into the
early Medieval The Early Middle Ages or Early Medieval Period, sometimes referred to as the Dark Ages (historiography), Dark Ages, is typically regarded by historians as lasting from the late 5th or early 6th century to the 10th century. They marked the start ...
period in the form of monasteries that withstood the disruptions of the
Gothic War (535–554) The Gothic War between the East Roman (Byzantine) Empire during the reign of Emperor Justinian I Justinian I (; la, Flavius Petrus Sabbatius Iustinianus; grc-gre, Ἰουστινιανός, Ioustinianós; 11 May 48214 November 565), also ...
and the
Lombards The Lombards () or Langobards ( la, Langobardi) were a Germanic people Germanic may refer to: * Germanic peoples The historical Germanic peoples (from lat, Germani) are a category of ancient northern European tribes, first mentioned by Gr ...
. About 529
Benedict of Nursia Benedict of Nursia ( la, Benedictus Nursiae; it, Benedetto da Norcia; 2 March 480 AD – 21 March 548 AD) was a Christian saint venerated in the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the Lis ...

Benedict of Nursia
established his influential monastery of
Monte Cassino Monte Cassino (today usually spelled Montecassino) is a rocky hill about southeast of Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of R ...

Monte Cassino
in the ruins of a villa at Subiaco that had belonged to
Nero Nero ( ; Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus; 15 December 37 – 9 June 68 AD) was the fifth Roman emperor, ruling from 54 to 68. His infamous reign is usually associated with Tyrant, tyranny, extravagance, and debauchery.Kragelund, Patric ...

Nero
. From the sixth to the eighth century,
Gallo-Roman Gallo-Roman culture was a consequence of the Romanization (cultural), Romanization of Gauls, Gaulish peoples under the rule of the Roman Empire. It was characterized by the Gaulish adoption or adaptation of Roman culture, Roman culture, language ...
villas in the
Merovingian The Merovingian dynasty () was the ruling family of the Franks The Franks ( la, Franci or ) were a group of Germanic peoples whose name was first mentioned in 3rd-century Roman sources, and associated with tribes between the Lower Rhine and ...
royal
fisc Under the Merovingians and Carolingians, the fisc (from Latin '' fiscus,'' whence we derive "fiscal") applied to the royal demesne A demesne ( ) or domain was all the land retained and managed by a lord of the manor under the feudal system ...
were repeatedly donated as sites for monasteries under royal patronage in
Gaul Gaul ( la, Gallia) was a region of Western Europe Western Europe is the region of Europe Europe is a continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than a ...

Gaul
Saint-Maur-des-Fossés and
Fleury Abbey Fleury Abbey (Floriacum) in Saint-Benoît-sur-Loire, Loiret, France, founded in about 640, is one of the most celebrated Benedictine monasteries of Western Europe, which possesses the relics of St. Benedict of Nursia. Its site on the banks of the L ...
provide examples. In Germany a famous example is
Echternach Echternach ( lb, Iechternach or (locally) ) is a commune A commune is an intentional community of people sharing living spaces, interests, values, beliefs, and often property Property (''latin: Res Privata'') in the Abstract and concret ...

Echternach
; as late as 698,
Willibrord Willibrord (; 658 – 7 November AD 739) was a Northumbria Northumbria (; ang, Norþanhymbra Rīċe; la, Regnum Northanhymbrorum) was an early medieval Anglo-Saxon kingdom in what is now Northern England and Lothian, south-east Scotland. ...

Willibrord
established an abbey at a Roman villa of Echternach near
Trier Trier ( , ; lb, Tréier ), formerly known in English as Trèves ( ;) and Triers (see also Names of Trier in different languages, names in other languages), is a city on the banks of the Moselle (river), Moselle in Germany. It lies in a valley be ...

Trier
, presented to him by Irmina, daughter of
Dagobert II Dagobert II ( la, Dagober(c)tus; ang, Dægberht; died 679) was the Merovingian king of the Franks ruling in Austrasia from 675 or 676 until his death. He is one of the more obscure Merovingians. He has been considered a martyr since at least the ...
, king of the
Franks The Franks ( la, Franci or ) were a group of Germanic peoples whose name was first mentioned in 3rd-century Roman sources, and associated with tribes between the Lower Rhine and the Ems River, on the edge of the Roman Empire. Later the term was ...

Franks
.
Kintzheim
Kintzheim
was ''Villa Regis'', the "villa of the king". Around 590,
Saint Eligius Image:Signature of St Eloy Eligius Financier and Minister to Dagobert I from the Charter of Foundation of the Abbey of Solignac Mabillon Da Re Diplomatica.png, Signature of St. Eloy (Eligius), Financier and Minister to Dagobert I.; from the Charte ...
was born in a highly placed
Gallo-Roman Gallo-Roman culture was a consequence of the Romanization (cultural), Romanization of Gauls, Gaulish peoples under the rule of the Roman Empire. It was characterized by the Gaulish adoption or adaptation of Roman culture, Roman culture, language ...
family at the 'villa' of Chaptelat near
Limoges Limoges (, , ; oc, Lemòtges, locally ) is a city and Communes of France, commune, is the prefecture of the Haute-Vienne Departments of France, department and was the administrative capital of the former Limousin region in west-central France. ...
, in
Aquitaine Aquitaine ( , , ; oc, Aquitània ; eu, Akitania; Poitevin-Saintongeais: ''Aguiéne''), archaic Guyenne or Guienne ( oc, Guiana), is a historical region of southwestern France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=n ...

Aquitaine
(now France). The
abbey An abbey is a type of monastery A monastery is a building or complex of buildings comprising the domestic quarters and workplaces of monastics, monk A monk (, from el, μοναχός, ''monachos'', "single, solitary" via Latin L ...

abbey
at
Stavelot Stavelot (; german: Stablo ; wa, Ståvleu) is a City status in Belgium, city and Municipalities of Belgium, municipality of Wallonia located in the Liège Province, province of Liège, Belgium. The municipality consists of the following districts ...
was founded ca 650 on the domain of a former villa near
Liège Liège ( , , ; wa, Lidje ; nl, Luik ; german: Lüttich ; lat, Leodium) is a major City status in Belgium, city and Municipalities in Belgium, municipality of Wallonia and the capital of the Belgium, Belgian Liège Province, province of Liège. ...

Liège
and the abbey of
Vézelay
Vézelay
had a similar founding.


Post-Roman era

In post-Roman times a ''villa'' referred to a self-sufficient, usually fortified Italian or
Gallo-Roman Gallo-Roman culture was a consequence of the Romanization (cultural), Romanization of Gauls, Gaulish peoples under the rule of the Roman Empire. It was characterized by the Gaulish adoption or adaptation of Roman culture, Roman culture, language ...
farmstead. It was economically as self-sufficient as a ''
village A village is a clustered human settlement In geography, statistics and archaeology, a settlement, locality or populated place is a community in which people live. The complexity of a settlement can range from a small number of dwellin ...

village
'' and its inhabitants, who might be legally tied to it as
serfs Serfdom was the status of many peasants under feudalism, specifically relating to manorialism, and similar systems. It was a condition of debt bondage and indentured servitude with similarities to and differences from slavery, which developed ...
were ''
villein A villein, otherwise known as ''cottar Cotter, cottier, cottar, or is the German or Scots term for a peasant A peasant is a pre-industrial agricultural laborer or a farmer with limited land-ownership, especially one living in the Middl ...
s''. The
Merovingian The Merovingian dynasty () was the ruling family of the Franks The Franks ( la, Franci or ) were a group of Germanic peoples whose name was first mentioned in 3rd-century Roman sources, and associated with tribes between the Lower Rhine and ...

Merovingian
Franks The Franks ( la, Franci or ) were a group of Germanic peoples whose name was first mentioned in 3rd-century Roman sources, and associated with tribes between the Lower Rhine and the Ems River, on the edge of the Roman Empire. Later the term was ...

Franks
inherited the concept, followed by the Carolingian French but the later French term was ''basti'' or ''bastide.'' ''Villa''/''Vila'' (or its cognates) is part of many Spanish and Portuguese placenames, like
Vila Real Vila Real () is the capital and largest city of the Vila Real District, Norte, Portugal, northern Portugal. The population in 2011 was 51,850, in an area of . Vila Real was ranked seventh in the list of Portugal's most livable cities in the surve ...
and Villadiego: a ''villa''/''vila'' is a town with a
charter A charter is the grant of authority In the fields of sociology Sociology is the study of society, human social behaviour, patterns of social relationships, social interaction, and culture that surrounds everyday life. It is a social scien ...
(''
fuero confirming the ''fueros'' of Biscay at Guernica (town), Guernica in 1476 ''Fuero'' (), ''Fur'' (), ''Foro'' () or ''Foru'' () is a Spain, Spanish legal term and concept. The word comes from Latin ''Forum (Roman), forum'', an open space used as a ...

fuero
'' or ''
foral 200px, Foral of Castro Verde - Portugal The word ''foral'' ({{IPA-pt, fuˈɾaɫ, eu, plural: ''forais'') is a noun derived from the Portuguese language, Portuguese word ''foro'', ultimately from Latin ''forum'', equivalent to Spanish language, ...
'') of lesser importance than a ''ciudad''/''cidade'' ("city"). When it is associated with a personal name, ''villa'' was probably used in the original sense of a country estate rather than a chartered town. Later evolution has made the Hispanic distinction between ''villas'' and ''ciudades'' a purely honorific one.
Madrid Madrid ( , ) is the capital and most populous city of Spain. The city has almost 3.4 million inhabitants and a Madrid metropolitan area, metropolitan area population of approximately 6.7 million. It is the Largest cities of the Europe ...

Madrid
is the ''Villa y
Corte
Corte
'', the villa considered to be separate from the formerly mobile
royal court A royal court is an extended royal household in a monarchy, including all those who regularly attend on a monarch, or another central figure. Hence the word court may also be applied to the coterie of a senior member of the nobility. Royal courts ...
, but the much smaller
Ciudad Real Ciudad Real (, ; en, "Royal City") is a municipality of Spain located in the autonomous community of Castile–La Mancha, capital of the province of Ciudad Real. It is the 5th most populated municipality in the region. History It was founded ...

Ciudad Real
was declared ''ciudad'' by the Spanish crown.


Italian Renaissance

(1470),
Poggio a Caiano Poggio a Caiano is a town and ''comune'' in the province of Prato, Tuscany region Italy. The town, birthplace of Philip Mazzei, lies south of the provincial capital of Prato. Sister towns Poggio a Caiano has two town twinning, sister cities: ...

Poggio a Caiano
,
Tuscany it, Toscano (man) it, Toscana (woman) , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = Citizenship , demographics1_footnotes = , demographics1_title1 = Italian , demograp ...


Tuscany

In 14th and 15th century Italy, a ''villa'' once more connoted a country house, like the first
Medici villas The Medici villas are a series of rural building complexes in Tuscany which were owned by members of the Medici family between the 15th century and the 17th century. The villas served several functions: they were the country palaces of the Medici ...
, the
Villa del Trebbio The Villa del Trebbio is a Medici villas, Medici villa in Tuscany, Italy. The villa is located near San Piero a Sieve in the Mugello region, in the province of Florence, in the area from which the Medici family originated. It was one of the fir ...
and that at Cafaggiolo, both strong fortified houses built in the 14th century in the Mugello region near Florence. In 1450, Giovanni di Cosimo de' Medici, Giovanni de' Medici commenced on a hillside the Villa Medici in Fiesole,
Tuscany it, Toscano (man) it, Toscana (woman) , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = Citizenship , demographics1_footnotes = , demographics1_title1 = Italian , demograp ...
, probably the first villa created under the instructions of
Leon Battista Alberti Leon Battista Alberti (; 14 February 1404 – 25 April 1472) was an Italian Renaissance humanist author, artist, architect, poet, Catholic priest, priest, linguistics, linguist, philosopher and cryptography, cryptographer; he epitomised the Polyma ...

Leon Battista Alberti
, who theorized the features of the new idea of villa in his ''De re aedificatoria''. with lower half of the gardens, by Giusto Utens. Museo Topografico, Florence These first examples of Renaissance architecture, Renaissance villa predate the age of Lorenzo de' Medici, who added the Poggio a Caiano#The Medici villa, Villa di Poggio a Caiano by Giuliano da Sangallo, begun in 1470, in
Poggio a Caiano Poggio a Caiano is a town and ''comune'' in the province of Prato, Tuscany region Italy. The town, birthplace of Philip Mazzei, lies south of the provincial capital of Prato. Sister towns Poggio a Caiano has two town twinning, sister cities: ...

Poggio a Caiano
, Province of Prato,
Tuscany it, Toscano (man) it, Toscana (woman) , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = Citizenship , demographics1_footnotes = , demographics1_title1 = Italian , demograp ...
. From Tuscany the idea of ''villa'' was spread again through Italian Renaissance, Renaissance Italy and Europe.


Tuscan villa gardens

The Quattrocento villa gardens were treated as a fundamental and aesthetic link between a residential building and the outdoors, with views over a humanized agricultural
landscape A landscape is the visible features of an area of land Land is the solid surface of Earth that is not permanently submerged in water. Most but not all land is situated at elevations above sea level (variable over geologic time frames) and ...

landscape
, at that time the only desirable aspect of nature. Later villas and gardens include the Palazzo Pitti and Boboli Gardens in Florence, and the Villa di Pratolino in Vaglia.


Rome

Rome had more than its share of villas with easy reach of the small sixteenth-century city: the progenitor, the first ''Roman villa, villa suburbana'' built since Antiquity, was the Belvedere (structure), Belvedere or ''palazzetto'', designed by Antonio Pollaiuolo and built on the slope above the Vatican Palace. The Villa Madama, the design of which, attributed to Raphael and carried out by Giulio Romano in 1520, was one of the most influential private houses ever built; elements derived from Villa Madama appeared in villas through the 19th century. Villa Albani was built near the Porta Salaria. Other are the Villa Borghese gardens, Villa Borghese; the Villa Doria Pamphili (1650); the Villa Giulia of Pope Julius III (1550), designed by Giacomo Barozzi da Vignola, Vignola. The Roman villas Villa Ludovisi and Villa Montalto, were destroyed during the late nineteenth century in the wake of the real estate bubble that took place in Rome after the seat of government of a united Italy was established at Rome. The cool hills of
Frascati Frascati () is a city and ''comune'' in the Metropolitan City of Rome Capital in the Lazio region of central Italy. It is located south-east of Rome, on the Alban Hills close to the ancient city of Tusculum. Frascati is closely associated with ...
gained the Villa Aldobrandini (1592); the Villa Falconieri and the Villa Mondragone. The Villa d'Este near Tivoli, Italy, Tivoli is famous for the water play in its terraced History of gardens, gardens. The Villa Medici was on the edge of Rome, on the Pincian Hill, when it was built in 1540. Besides these designed for seasonal pleasure, usually located within easy distance of a city, other Italian villas were remade from a ''Rocca (architecture), rocca'' or castello, as the family seat of power, such as Villa Caprarola for the House of Farnese, Farnese. Near Siena in Tuscany, the Villa Cetinale was built by Cardinal Flavio Chigi (1631-1693), Flavio Chigi. He employed Carlo Fontana, pupil of Gian Lorenzo Bernini to transform the villa and dramatic gardens in a Roman Baroque style by 1680. The Villa Lante garden is one of the most sublime creations of the Italian villa in the landscape, completed in the 17th century.


Venice

Image:Villa Rotonda side.jpg, left, Villa Capra "La Rotonda" in Vicenza, one of Palladio's most influential designs In the later 16th century in the northeastern Italian Peninsula the Palladian villas of the Veneto, designed by Andrea Palladio (1508–1580), were built in Vicenza in the Republic of Venice. Palladio always designed his villas with reference to their setting. He often unified all the farm buildings into the architecture of his extended villas. Examples are the Villa Emo, the Villa Godi, the Villa Forni Cerato, the Villa Capra "La Rotonda", and Villa Foscari. The Villas are grouped into an association (Associazione Ville Venete) and offer touristic itineraries and accommodation possibilities.


Villas abroad


17th century

Soon after in Greenwich England, following his 1613–1615 Grand Tour, Inigo Jones designed and built the Queen's House between 1615–1617 in an early Palladian architecture style adaptation in another country. The Palladian villa style renewed its influence in different countries and eras and remained influential for over four hundred years, with the Neo-Palladian a part of the late 17th century and on Renaissance Revival architecture period.


18th and 19th centuries

Villa Hakasalmi (built in 1834-46) represents Empire-era villa architecture. It was the home of Aurora Karamzin (1808–1902) at the end of the 19th century and is now the city museum of Helsinki, Finland. In the early 18th century the English took up the term, and applied it to compact houses in the country, especially those accessible from London: Chiswick House is an example of such a "party villa". Thanks to the revival of interest in Palladio and Inigo Jones, soon Palladian architecture#Neo-Palladian, Neo-Palladian villas dotted the valley of the River Thames and English countryside. Marble Hill House in England was conceived originally as a "villa" in the 18th-century sense. In many ways the late 18th century Monticello, by Thomas Jefferson in Virginia, United States is a Palladian Revival villa. Other examples of the period and style are Hammond-Harwood House in Annapolis, Maryland; and many pre-American Civil War or Antebellum Plantations, such as Westover Plantation and many other List of James River plantations, James River plantations as well dozens of Antebellum architecture, Antebellum era plantations in the rest of the Old South functioned as the Roman Latifundium villas had. A later revival, in the Gilded Age and early 20th century, produced The Breakers in Newport, Rhode Island, Filoli in Woodside, California, and Dumbarton Oaks in Georgetown, Washington, D.C.; by architects-landscape architects such as Richard Morris Hunt, Willis Polk, and Beatrix Farrand. In the nineteenth century, the term ''villa'' was extended to describe any large
suburb A suburb (or suburban area or suburbia) is a commercial Commercial may refer to: * a dose of advertising conveyed through media (such as - for example - radio or television) ** Radio advertisement ** Television advertisement * (adjective ...
an house that was free-standing in a
landscape A landscape is the visible features of an area of land Land is the solid surface of Earth that is not permanently submerged in water. Most but not all land is situated at elevations above sea level (variable over geologic time frames) and ...

landscape
d plot of ground. By the time 'semi-detached villas' were being erected at the turn of the twentieth century, the term collapsed under its extension and overuse. The second half of the nineteenth century saw the creation of large "Villenkolonien" in the German speaking countries, wealthy residential areas that were completely made up of large mansion houses and often built to an artfully created masterplan. Also many large mansions for the wealthy German industrialists were built, such as Villa Hügel in Essen. The Villenkolonie of Lichterfelde West in Berlin was conceived after an extended trip by the architect through the South of England. Representative Historicism (art), historicist mansions in Germany include the Heiligendamm and other resort architecture mansions at the Baltic Sea, Rose Island (Lake Starnberg), Rose Island and King's House on Schachen in the Bavarian Alps, Villa Dessauer in Bamberg, Wahnfried, Villa Wahnfried in Bayreuth, Schloss Drachenburg, Drachenburg near Bonn, Hammerschmidt Villa in Bonn, the Liebermann Villa and Schloss Britz, Britz House in Berlin, Albrechtsberg Palace (Dresden), Albrechtsberg, Eckberg, Villa Stockhausen and in Dresden, in Feldafing, in Frankfurt, Jenisch House and Budge-Palais in Hamburg, and in Königstein im Taunus, Königstein, Villa Stuck and in Munich, Schloss Klink at Müritz, Lake Müritz, Villa Ludwigshöhe in Rhineland-Palatinate, Villa Haux in Stuttgart and Weinberg House (Waren), Weinberg House in Waren (Müritz), Waren. In France the Château de Ferrières is an example of the Italian Neo-Renaissance style villa – and in Britain the Mentmore Towers by John Ruskin. A representative building of this style in Germany is Villa Haas (designed by Ludwig Hofmann) in Hesse.


20th – 21st centuries


Europe

During the 19th and 20th century, the term "villa" became widespread for detached mansions in Europe. Special forms are for instance Spa architecture, spa villas (''Kurvillen'' in German) and Resort architecture, seaside villas (''Bädervillen'' in German), that became especially popular at the end of the 19th century. The tradition established back then continued throughout the 20th century and even until today. Another trend was the erection of rather minimalist mansions in the Bauhaus style since the 1920s, that also continues until today. In Denmark, Norway and Sweden "villa" denotes most forms of single-family detached homes, regardless of size and standard.


Americas

The villa concept lived and lives on in the haciendas of Latin America and the estancias of Brazil and Argentina. The oldest are original Portuguese and Spanish Colonial architecture; followed after independences in the Americas from Spain and Portugal, by the Spanish Colonial Revival architecture, Spanish Colonial Revival style with regional variations. In the 20th century International Style (architecture), International Style villas were designed by Roberto Burle Marx, Oscar Niemeyer, Luis Barragán, and other architects developing a unique Euro-Latin synthesized aesthetic. Villas are particularly well represented in California and the West Coast of the United States, where they were originally commissioned by well travelled "upper-class" patrons moving on from the Queen Anne style architecture in the United States, Queen Anne style Victorian architecture and Beaux-Arts architecture. Communities such as Montecito, California, Montecito, Pasadena, California, Pasadena, Bel Air, Los Angeles, Bel Air, Beverly Hills, California, Beverly Hills, and San Marino, California, San Marino in Southern California, and Atherton, California, Atherton and Piedmont, California, Piedmont in the San Francisco Bay Area are a few examples of villa density. The popularity of Mediterranean Revival architecture in its various iterations over the last century has been consistently used in that region and in Florida. Just a few of the notable early architects were Wallace Neff, Addison Mizner, Stanford White, and George Washington Smith (architect), George Washington Smith. A few examples are the Harold Lloyd Estate in Beverly Hills, California, Medici scale Hearst Castle on the Central Coast of California, and Villa Montalvo in the Santa Cruz Mountains of Saratoga, California, Villa Vizcaya in Coconut Grove, Miami, American Craftsman versions are the Gamble House (Pasadena, California), Gamble House and the villas by Greene and Greene in Pasadena, California


Modern villas

Modern architecture has produced some important examples of buildings known as villas: * Villa Noailles by Robert Mallet-Stevens in Hyères, France * Villa Savoye by Le Corbusier in Poissy, France * Villa Mairea by Alvar Aalto in Noormarkku, Finland * Villa Tugendhat by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in Brno, Czech Republic * Villa Lewaro by Vertner Tandy in Irvington, New York Country-villa examples: * Hollyhock House (1919) by Frank Lloyd Wright in Hollywood * Gropius House by Walter Gropius (1937) in Lincoln, Massachusetts * Fallingwater by Frank Lloyd Wright (1939) in Pennsylvania, U.S. * Farnsworth House by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in Plano, Illinois * Kaufmann Desert House by Richard Neutra (1946) in Palm Springs, California * Auldbrass Plantation by Frank Lloyd Wright (1940–1951) in Beaufort County, South Carolina * Palácio da Alvorada by Oscar Niemeyer (1958) in Brasília, Brazil * Getty Villa, in Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles.


Other

Today, the term "villa" is often applied to vacation rental properties. In the United Kingdom the term is used for high quality detached homes in warm destinations, particularly Florida and the Mediterranean. The term is also used in Pakistan, and in some of the Caribbean islands such as Jamaica, Saint Barthélemy, Saint Martin (island), Saint Martin, Guadeloupe, British Virgin Islands, and others. It is similar for the coastal resort areas of Baja California Sur and mainland Mexico, and for hospitality industry destination resort "luxury bungalows" in various locations worldwide. In Indonesia, the term "villa" is applied to Dutch colonial country houses (''landhuis''). Nowadays, the term is more popularly applied to vacation rental usually located in countryside area. In Australia, "villas" or "villa units" are terms used to describe a type of townhouse complex which contains, possibly smaller attached or detached houses of up to 3–4 bedrooms that were built since the early 1980s. Housing in New Zealand, In New Zealand, "villa" refers almost exclusively to Victorian era, Victorian and Edwardian era, Edwardian wooden weatherboard houses mainly built between 1880 and 1914, characterised by high ceilings (often ), sash windows, and a long entrance hall. In Cambodia, "villa" is used as a loanword in the local language of Khmer, and is generally used to describe any type of detached townhouse that features yard space. The term doesn't apply to any particular architectural style or size, the only features that distinguish a Khmer villa from another building are the yard space and being fully detached. The terms "twin-villa" and "mini-villa" have been coined meaning semi-detached and smaller versions respectively. Generally, these would be more luxurious and spacious houses than the more common row houses. The yard space would also typically feature some form of garden, trees or greenery. Generally, these would be properties in major cities, where there is more wealth and hence more luxurious houses.


See also

*Dacha *Estate (land), Estate *Great house *Manor house *Mansion *Ultimate bungalow


Notes

{{Authority control Architectural history House styles House types Architecture of Italy Villas, Vacation rental Tourist accommodations