It would be logical to assume that the Italianate style originated in Italy given its name. Logical, but incorrect. The style actually blossomed in England in the 1840s as part of the Picturesque Movement. Before that time, English houses tended to be more formal and classic in style. With the Picturesque Movement, the English decided to replicate the elaborate and beautiful villas of old Italy, which is how the style was named.
The Italianate Style migrated to the United States roughly around the same time, taking on a uniquely American flavor. It became the most popular housing styles in the late 1860s for two reasons. One, the Italianate Style could be built from any material, which meant it was adaptable across the country. Two, with the advent of technology in the Victorian Era, it was easy and affordable to make the cast-iron and press-metal decorations prominent with the style.