|Architecture of Italy|
|Periods and styles|
|Palaces and gardens|
This timeline shows the periods of various architectural styles in the architecture of Italy. Italy's architecture spans almost 3,500 years, from Etruscan and Ancient Roman architecture to Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo, Neoclassical, Art Nouveau, Fascist, and Italian modern and contemporary architecture.
AD 313 – The arch of Constantine in Rome. Mostly built in concrete, bricks or marble, Roman Triumphal arch were grandiose and meant to represent victories, prestige, money and power.
AD 800 – Domes become popular and major features in Byzantine architecture in Italy.
c. mid-9th century – The Romanesque style emerges in Italy, built with mainly round arches and based on the simple plans of Roman basilicas. They had simple interiors and examples include Modena Cathedral and Verona Cathedral.
AD 832–1094 – St Mark's Basilica in Venice is built; it is a blend of Classical, Byzantine, Romanesque and Gothic architectural styles.
c. mid-11th century – Orvieto Cathedral is built, with its beautiful and intricate Gothic patterns and frescos.
1136–1382 – Siena Cathedral is constructed, in a similar style to that of Orvieto, but far more Romanesque-Gothic and was an architectural transformer.
early 15th century – late 16th century – The Italian Renaissance begins, being an artistic, political, architectural, cultural and social movement, originating in Tuscany. Italian architecture is heavily influenced from the Classical ideals of ancient Greek and ancient Roman civilizations.
early 15th century - The Renaissance architectural revolution masterpiece, Florence Cathedral. Completed in 1436, it challenged the ideals of architecture and engineering, especially Brunelleschi's dome.
1456–70 – The Florentine church of Santa Maria Novella, which, built by Alberti, was Renaissance, but had a Romanesque-Gothic exterior.
1502–10 – Bramante's iconic "Tempietto" is constructed at San Pietro in Montecitorio in the city of Rome. Styles were copied from the classical Temple of Vesta.
mid-late 16th century – As a revenge against the Protestant Reformation, the Counter Reformation begins, and most Italian cities, especially Rome, are remodelled with magnificent palazzi, fountains and piazzas, as papal patronage invests on architectural splendour.
1568 – The Church of the Gesù in Rome is constructed by Vignola. With an elaborate, powerful and austere facade and rich decorations, it was seen as a prototype for Italian Baroque architecture and is regarded as one of the first buildings in the Baroque style.
1508–80 – Andrea Palladio and his Palladian villas are constructed all over the Veneto. His style became a prototype for Neoclassical architecture, and his designs were copied and imitated for centuries across the world.
1598–1680 – Gian Lorenzo Bernini becomes one of Italy's most influential architects and designers during the Roman and Italian Baroque period, re-designing the columns in Saint Peter's Square, Vatican City.
early – mid-18th century – Baroque facades become very popular in churches all over Italy, especially in Southern Italy in cities such as Naples, Lecce, Palermo, Noto, Ragusa and Siracusa. Examples include Cathedral of Syracuse, whose Baroque facade was made from 1728 to 1744.
19th century – The period of industrialisation, new glass and metal structures such as the 1865 Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan, or the Galleria Umberto I in Naples are constructed.
1863–89 – The impressive Mole Antonelliana in Turin, originally intended to be a synagogue, is constructed. This towering granite spire was for a period in time the tallest building in the whole world.
1950s – The Italian economic miracle being in full-swing, new skyscrapers such as the creative Torre Velasca in Italy's fashion, banking and design capital was built. This 26-floor tower was a pioneer in the usage of reinforced concrete.
late 1950s and early 1960s – The Pirelli Tower is also built in Milan by Gio Ponti and Nervi. It is regarded as one of the finest examples of modernist Italian architecture, and currently dominates the Milan skyline.
Renaissance architecture is the European architecture of the period between the early 15th and early 16th centuries in different regions, demonstrating a conscious revival and development of certain elements of ancient Greek and Roman thought and material culture. Stylistically, Renaissance architecture followed Gothic architecture and was succeeded by Baroque architecture. Developed first in Florence, with Filippo Brunelleschi as one of its innovators, the Renaissance style quickly spread to other Italian cities. The style was carried to Spain, France, Germany, England, Russia and other parts of Europe at different dates and with varying degrees of impact.
Romanesque architecture is an architectural style of medieval Europe characterized by semi-circular arches. There is no consensus for the beginning date of the Romanesque style, with proposals ranging from the 6th to the 11th century, this later date being the most commonly held. In the 12th century it developed into the Gothic style, marked by pointed arches. Examples of Romanesque architecture can be found across the continent, making it the first pan-European architectural style since Imperial Roman architecture. The Romanesque style in England and Sicily is traditionally referred to as Norman architecture.
Pediments are gables, usually of a triangular shape. Pediments are placed above the horizontal structure of the lintel, or entablature, if supported by columns. Pediments can contain an overdoor and are usually topped by hood moulds. A pediment is sometimes the top element of a portico. For symmetric designs, it provides a center point and is often used to add grandness to entrances.
The architecture of cathedrals and great churches is characterised by the buildings' large scale and follows one of several branching traditions of form, function and style that derive ultimately from the Early Christian architectural traditions established in Late Antiquity during the Christianisation of the Roman Empire.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to classical architecture:
Rose window is often used as a generic term applied to a circular window, but is especially used for those found in Gothic cathedrals and churches. The windows are divided into segments by stone mullions and tracery. The term rose window was not used before the 17th century and comes from the English flower name rose.
Renaissance Revival architecture is a group of 19th century architectural revival styles which were neither Greek Revival nor Gothic Revival but which instead drew inspiration from a wide range of classicizing Italian modes. Under the broad designation Renaissance architecture nineteenth-century architects and critics went beyond the architectural style which began in Florence and Central Italy in the early 15th century as an expression of Renaissance humanism; they also included styles that can be identified as Mannerist or Baroque. Self-applied style designations were rife in the mid- and later nineteenth century: "Neo-Renaissance" might be applied by contemporaries to structures that others called "Italianate", or when many French Baroque features are present.
Spanish architecture refers to architecture in any area of what is now Spain, and by Spanish architects worldwide. The term includes buildings which were constructed within the current borders of Spain prior to its existence as a nation, when the land was called Iberia, Hispania, or was divided between several Christian and Muslim kingdoms. Spanish architecture demonstrates great historical and geographical diversity, depending on the historical period. It developed along similar lines as other architectural styles around the Mediterranean and from Central and Northern Europe, although some Spanish constructions are unique.
Italy has a very broad and diverse architectural style, which cannot be simply classified by period or region, due to Italy's division into various small states until 1861. This has created a highly diverse and eclectic range in architectural designs. Italy is known for its considerable architectural achievements, such as the construction of aqueducts, temples and similar structures during ancient Rome, the founding of the Renaissance architectural movement in the late-14th to 16th century, and being the homeland of Palladianism, a style of construction which inspired movements such as that of Neoclassical architecture, and influenced the designs which noblemen built their country houses all over the world, notably in the United Kingdom, Australia and the United States of America during the late-17th to early 20th centuries.
The architecture of Germany has a long, rich and diverse history. Every major European style from Roman to Postmodern is represented, including renowned examples of Carolingian, Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Modern and International Style architecture.
French architecture consists of numerous architectural styles that either originated in France or elsewhere and were developed within the territories of France.
Gothic architecture appeared in the prosperous independent city-states of Italy in the 12th century, at the same time as it appeared in Northern Europe. In fact, unlike in other regions of Europe, it did not replace Romanesque architecture, and Italian architects were not very influenced by it. However, each city developed its own particular variations of the style. Italian architects preferred to keep the traditional construction methods established in the previous centuries; architectural solutions and technical innovations of French Gothic were seldom used. Soaring height was less important than in Northern Europe. Brick rather than stone was the most common building material, and marble was widely used for decoration. In the 15th century, when the Gothic style dominated both Northern Europe and the Italian Peninsula, Northern Italy became the birthplace of Renaissance architecture.
Ferrara Cathedral is a Roman Catholic cathedral and minor basilica in Ferrara, Northern Italy. Dedicated to Saint George, the patron saint of the city, it is the seat of the Archbishop of Ferrara and the largest religious building in the city.
Amalfi Cathedral is a medieval Roman Catholic cathedral in the Piazza del Duomo, Amalfi, Italy. It is dedicated to the Apostle Saint Andrew whose relics are kept here. Formerly the archiepiscopal seat of the Diocese of Amalfi, it has been since 1986 that of the Diocese of Amalfi-Cava de' Tirreni.
The architecture of Rome over the centuries has greatly developed from Ancient Roman architecture to Italian modern and contemporary architecture. Rome was once the world's main epicentres of Classical architecture, developing new forms such as the arch, the dome and the vault. The Romanesque style in the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries was also widely used in Roman architecture, and later the city became one of the main centres of Renaissance and Baroque architecture. Rome's cityscape is also widely Neoclassical and Fascist in style.
North-Western Italian architecture refers to architecture in the North-Western regions of Italy, and their capital cities.
The architecture of Switzerland was influenced by its location astride major trade routes, along with diverse architectural traditions of the four national languages. Romans and later Italians brought their monumental and vernacular architecture north over the Alps, meeting the Germanic and German styles coming south and French influences coming east. Additionally, Swiss mercenary service brought architectural elements from other lands back to Switzerland. All the major styles including ancient Roman, Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, Neoclassical, Art Nouveau, Modern architecture and Post Modern are well represented throughout the country. The founding of the Congrès International d'Architecture Moderne in La Sarraz and the work of Swiss-born modern architects such as Le Corbusier helped spread Modern architecture throughout the world.
Gothic cathedrals and churches are religious buildings created in Europe between the mid-12th century and the beginning of the 16th century. The cathedrals are notable particularly for their great height and their extensive use of stained glass to fill the interiors with light. They were the tallest and largest buildings of their time and the most prominent examples of Gothic architecture. The appearance of the Gothic cathedral was not only a revolution in architecture; it also introduced new forms in decoration, sculpture, and art.