The name derives from the Hungarian word for lightning, villám. Formerly (centuries ago), the settlement was recorded under this form of name.
After the Ottoman occupation until 1918, VILLÁNY was part of the Austrian monarchy, province of Hungary; in Transleithania after the compromise of 1867 in the Kingdom of Hungary. A post-office was opened end of 1867 (depending from Oedenburg Post Directorate).
The city is located in the encounter of three large geographical regions: the Great Hungarian Plain from the south, Baranya Hills from the north, and finally Villány Mountains border it from the west. On the plain, agricultural activity is common. The mountains and the hills provide a suitable place for wine producing.
A fossil site known as "Villány locality 6" or "Villány-Kalkberg Süd" has yielded many vertebrate fossils from Lower Pleistocene.
Villány is twinned with: