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Villas - evolution

The most important characteristic of the architecture of villas is the reuse of pre-existent buildings. The problem of transforming the rooms has often been resolved by a complete disguise which does not mean complete destruction (very rare for both economical and historical reasons).

Small 16th century "villas of delight" were natural heirs of shooting lodges which combined the recovery of the historical parts with new space, with large rooms and several loggia.

The 17th century villa indeed developed architectonical characteristics that had existed already before but this time with a trend for the monumental. Villas became grand and their rich decorations usually presented enterprises and virtues of a family. To lighten the ostentation of villas, charming Italian-styled gardens were created and the fashion went on for the whole 18th century. Unfortunately the style was substituted (causing heavy losses) by the predilection for the English-styled romantic gardens. The difference between the two gardens was not only stylistic: the rational Italian-styled garden, symbol of the dominion of man on nature was overtaken by park, representing "wild" nature and a kind of return to natural state, theorized by Rousseau.

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