The Italian villa is typically two or three stories, with a low-pitched hip roof with wide overhanging eaves supported by decorative brackets. The windows are tall and narrow and are often arched or curved at the top. There are usually elaborate window crowns, often in the shape of an inverted U. Window sashes have one or two panes.
Entrance doors have elaborate surrounds that are similar to the ornamentation of the windows. Large panes of glass within the door itself, instead of small panes surrounding the door, first became common in Italianate houses.
A distinguishing characteristic of the Italian villa is a square tower or cupola, often with triple arched windows on each side. Porches and verandas are also common features. These are of single-story height and may be arcaded or supported by columns.