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Italian Villa (1840-1880)

National Register #83001178: Brix Mansion in Fresno, California Brix Mansion in Fresno
Built 1911
Photographed 25 June 2006
California Historical Landmark 864: Gable Mansion in Woodland Gable Mansion in Woodland
Built 1885
Photographed 11 August 2006
San Francisco Landmark #47: Nightingale House Nightingale House in San Francisco
Built 1882
Photographed 31 January 2012
(Click Photos to Zoom)

The Italian Villa style was inspired by villas of Tuscany, Umbria and Lombardy.

The most striking feature of the Italian Villa is the tall tower which is located either at the middle of the façade or at one end.

The Italian Villa shares many characteristic with the contemporaneous Italianate style. The Italian Villa style is typically asymmetrical while the Italianate style emphasizes symmetry. Italian Villa have towers and are free-standing. Italianate buildings lack towers, and while they are often free-standing, the style was popular for urban row houses in cities such as San Francisco and New York.

Distinctive features of the Italian villa:

  • asymmetrical massing
  • tall tower
  • low pitched roof which resembles the pediment of a classical temple
  • projecting eaves with large brackets
  • grouped windows with rounded or straight tops
  • smooth stucco finish with exuberant ornamentation
  • arched loggia
  • rectangular bay
  • pedimented window heads
  • belt course
  • balcony


Italian Villa Buildings Sequenced By Year and Name
Click column headers to change the sequence.
Name Year City
Casebolt House1865San Francisco
Patrick Ranch1872Chico
Kruger House 1874Truckee
Nightingale House 1882San Francisco
McHenry Mansion 1883Modesto
Gable Mansion1885Woodland
Westerfeld House1889San Francisco
Villa Montalvo1892Saratoga
Brix Mansion1911Fresno
Yerington Grammar School 1911Yerington, NV

Architectural Styles | Architects