VILLA FINALE: MUSEUM & GARDENS

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I visit Villa Finale?
Villa Finale is open for guided and self-guided tours Tuesday - Saturday (holidays and special closures apply).  Please visit the home page of our website for updated information.

Where do I buy admission?

All admissions are sold at the Villa Finale Museum Shop, located in the Carriage House at the rear of the property. We recommend you call Visitor Services at (210) 223-9800 for tour availability or to make a reservation.

How many objects are in the collection?
Our latest figure puts the collection at about 12,500 objects.

What types of objects are found in Villa Finale's collection?
There are beautiful examples of European furniture, and fine and decorative arts. Mr. Mathis particularly enjoyed collecting memorabilia surrounding the life and death of Napoleon Bonaparte. Mr. Mathis' interest in Texas art is represented in the collection by such artists as Mary Bonner, and Julian and Robert Onderdonk. In addition, there is a wide range of Texas decorative arts, such as Bell silver, Texas furniture, and Texian campaign ceramics. 

What year was the house built?
Construction on the house began in 1876. Records vary on the early years of the house, but by the mid-1890s the house had assumed the shape it has now.

Who designed Villa Finale?
Research indicates that Villa Finale was designed by architect Francis Crider.

Where does the tour begin?
After purchasing your admission, you may head to the front porch of the house for guided tours, and the rear porch for self-guided tours.

What does the tour consist of?

The tour serves as an introduction to Walter Mathis, his preservation work in the neighborhood, and his collections. Tours cover most of the rooms in Villa Finale. We do offer special focus tours throughout the year or for larger groups. Check our "Upcoming Programs" section for more information or contact us at (210) 223-9800.

Are all tours guided?

No. Self-guided tours of Villa Finale's first floor are offered Tuesday - Saturday from 10:00am - 1:00pm.

Is photography allowed?

Photography without flash is permitted. You may take your cell phone or camera on the tour, but large equipment such as tripods are not allowed. Professional photography permits are available. Please call Visitor Services for details.

How many spaces are on each guided tour?

Due to the number of objects and minimal available space inside Villa Finale, guided tours are usually limited to six persons. This makes for a more intimate and enjoyable tour experience.

Are children allowed to tour Villa Finale?

Children over 8 years of age are allowed to tour the house. However, we caution parents to be mindful of the length of the guided tour (1 hour) and the number of breakable objects throughout the house for the self-guided tour.

Are there places to eat near Villa Finale?

We are located in an ideal location for people looking to sample San Antonio's cuisine. While visiting us, ask our staff or volunteers for their suggestions. Southtown, located two blocks from Villa Finale, has many fun and delicious places to eat!

Is there public transportation to Villa Finale?

Yes. The VIA Trolley Blue Line makes stops along South Alamo Street, only a short walk from our site. The Sightseeing Bus, the red double-decker vehicle you will see driving around the city, makes a stop on Guenther Street, only two blocks from Villa Finale. 

Can I walk to Villa Finale along the River Walk from downtown?
Yes, you can! Simply follow the River Walk south toward Nueva Street. The signs will point you to King William.  We are roughly one mile, about a 20 minute walk, from La Villita along the River Walk. You will see a sign from the River marked "Villa Finale Museum" pointing you up a walkway which leads to Sheridan Street and the driveway entrance to Villa Finale!