The Birth of a Villa Stay

February 2, 2011
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The villa concept has its roots in the time of Roman rule. Yes it really is that old.

Back in the good old days villas weren’t as accessible as they are today. They were built and used exclusively by the Roman upper class as a primary residence or country retreat.

Map of Ancient Rome

In fact, as a Roman, your standing in society was directly reflected by the size and location of your villa. The wealthier and more respected you were the better and bigger your villa. Good to know that 1000’s of years later not much has changed.

Roman Villa floorplan

The Villa Urbana was considered the most exclusive villa. Reserved for the top echelons of Roman society Villa Urbanas were almost always located on the outskirts of a Roman city. This ensured the affluent both privacy and relatively easy access to the city.

The Getty Villa: an exact copy of an ancient Roman villa from Herculaneum

The self-sufficiency of a villa was considered, by the Roman elite, to reflect the highest standard of living. Today that self-sufficiency is still a major characteristic of a villa stay.