Villa living began in Roman times as grand country houses for the upper classes. Villas were often productive estates, almost villages in themselves.
Villas became walled, fortified, and even more self-sufficient, as the empire collapsed, and later many working villas became monasteries.
A Villa from the Renaissance onwards increasingly came to mean an upper-class country house, rather than working estates. Over time, the word villa has come to mean a free-standing house in its own gardens.
If you looking for an upscale garden property in Germany, Southern Europe, Latin American, or the North American West Coast, it may be listed as a villa.