Frequently Asked Questions

What is Villa Finale’s current status?
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 at the Carriage House.  We recommend you call ahead for tour availability or to make a reservation. (210) 223-9800

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 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’s 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 general public tour serves as an introduction to Walter Mathis, his preservation work in the neighborhood, and his collections.  Tours are taken through most of the rooms in Villa Finale.  We do offer special focus tours throughout the year.  Check our "Upcoming Programs" section for more information.

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?

No, photography is not allowed inside the house at this time.  However, exterior photography is permitted.  Professional photography permits are available.  See Visitor Services for details.

How many spaces on each guided tour?

Due to the amount of objects and 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 amount 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 Guether Street, only two blocks from Villa Finale. 

Can I walk to Villa Finale along the River Walk from the downtown hub?
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!