How To Identify Italian-style Houses

Italian-style houses have a certain charm and old-world look to them. Borrowed from the villas in Italy, the features of an Italian-style home make it stand out among other homes. Whether you're a realtor, a purchaser or just an interested admirer, follow these tips to identify Italian-style houses.

Step 1

Look at the size of the home. Most Italian-style houses are at least two storeys high. They give off a grand appearance, almost like a towering castle. As well, the Italian-style house usually has a floor plan that is centered around a large staircase that leads into the seemingly endless heights of the home. The general shape of the home is that of a balanced, rectangular or square shape that looks symmetrical. Because these homes were quite popular in the late 19th century, this floor plan and shape was easily constructed. Italian-style houses could be made from many different materials (natural stone, brick, or stucco), depending on what the budget allowed. But in general, it is the size and unique features of the Italian-style home that set it apart.

Step 2

Look at the roof. An Italianite roof is flat or gently sloped at best, unlike most steep roofs found on other houses. As well, eaves jut out from the roof and create a wide overhang. Under the eaves are ornate brackets that are evenly spaced between big cornices. These kind of look like shelf brackets, and add a very detailed look to the exterior of the home. Modern builders may refer to it as ‘dental work', but it is much more extravagant than that.

Step 3

Take note of doorways. Although it's not always the case, some Italian-style houses have arched doorways or entranceways. Each doorway will also have a lot of molding, as was the fashion in Italy. Even outdoor patios and stables would carry on with the arched doors and entranceways.

Step 4

Check out the windows. Windows on Italian-style homes are tall, especially on the first level. They are usually adorned with a window-cap that is arched. If not arched, it will have at least some form of molding detail around it. No window went undressed in Italy! As well, windows may be formed into a bay window formation and can be found at the front and side of an Italian-style house. Often, windows on an Italian-style home are grouped in threes.

Step 5

Look for a portico. Most Italian-style houses will be adorned with a portico and loggias. Second storey rooms can have a balcony. And the top of the home may even have a small little cupola (much like a look-out tower on top of a castle). There will always be more to an Italian-style house than just the frame of the house. Porches, balconies, cupolas and the like are all standard features on an Italian-style home.


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