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The word villa
gets thrown around quite a bit these days, but what exactly qualifies a certain dwelling to be called one?
Originally, villas were luxurious country estates that Roman noblemen would escape to from their day to day lives in the city. They were like wealthy villages—self-sufficient, built on a grand scale, and often with expansive landscaping and vineyards. Roman Emperor Hadrian’s villa in Tripoli is perhaps the most famous of these, with its grandiose architecture and beautiful gardens. It is now of course reduced to ruins, but even in that condition, the opulent nature of the estate is still impressive.