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