Detached houses for the wealthy built in the country or on the fringes of towns. The Roman villa was the centre of a country estate. The Italian renaissance villa provided a country retreat for wealthy families to escape from the summer heat of their palaces in the cities. From the 18th century the English-speaking world used the term villa for a house without a large estate attached. This could be the chief residence of a middle-class family or a holiday home for a landed family with a country seat elsewhere.

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Max Gate
The Victorian villa which Thomas Hardy designed and built for himself in 1885. History, plan of the gardens, visits seminars and the Thomas Hardy Essay Competition.
Medici Villas in Florence and its Surroundings
A photograph and description of each from Your Way to Florence.
The official site gives an illustrated history and virtual tour of this Italian Renaissance villa with frescos and ornate 18th-century stables. Visitor information.
The Roman Villa of Piazza Armerina, Sicily
An illustrated room-by-room description by René Seindal of the villa with the richest collection of late Roman mosaics. Includes bibliography, plan and more than 200 photographs.
Shaw's Corner
The National Trust describes this Edwardian villa in Hertfordshire, the home of George Bernard Shaw 1906-1950. History, photographs, biography of Shaw, news and events.
Tibursuperbum : Villa d'Este
About the villa in Italy designed by Pirro Ligorio, included in the UNESCO world heritage list. History, information and photos. Also contains information on the Villa Adriana.
Villa & Jardins Ephrussi de Rothschild
Visit the historic home and landscaped gardens of an enlightened collector. History, collections, news, boutique, and opening times. Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, France.
Villa Aldobrandini, Rome
Paula J. Howarth tells the story of this villa built at the beginning of the 17th century by Cardinal Pietro Aldobrandini, with bibliography.
Wikipedia: Palladian Villas of the Veneto
An introduction to this cluster of works by Andrea Palladio and his students which are listed as a World Heritage site. The list of villas includes links to illustrated articles on specific villas.
Wikipedia: Villa
An illustrated definition and description of the various types of building which have been called villas from Roman to modern from the collaborative encyclopedia.
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