In Malta, you can find some picturesque streets with old townhouses in Maltese stone. Traditional Maltese houses have similar facades with an arch-topped front door, wooden shutters and an enclosed wooden balcony. There are gardens at the back of the houses. The shutters and the balcony are often painted in vivid colors, which brightens up the street.
Enclosed wooden balconies (‘gallerija’ in Maltese) were introduced in Malta in the 18th century. I’m not sure what those typical balconies were used for. I imagine they allowed light in while keeping heat out. You could also sit there to look out of the window.
Another article about Maltese houses on this blog:
A Maltese house entrance