Italian architecture spans centuries and is therefore broad and diverse. Italian structures are well known for their architectural designs and the beauty of the construction and final product. From arches to domes, Italian architecture is admired throughout the world for its beauty and elegance alongside fine craftsmanship. Some of the finest architectural works like the Colosseum, the Duomo, and the Ponte Vecchio are fine examples of the beauty of Italian architecture. This beauty has influenced architecture around the globe. The Palladianism style of construction which was developed in Italy inspired the Neoclassical architecture movement which influenced designs of country houses throughout the UK, the US, and Australia from the seventeenth century straight through to the early twentieth century.
The beauty of Italian architecture has influenced architectural styles of all kinds and has inspired architects and designers to push the envelope and create amazing structures. For example, the recently completed Burj Khalifa, also known as the Burj Dubai Tower, is now the tallest building in the world (830 metres). The work began in 2004 and required 31,400 tonnes of steel along with 28,000 glass panels for the external walls and annexes. The building was designed by chief architect Adrian Smith and chief structural engineer Bill Baker. While there may not be any visually direct influences from Italian architecture, the idea of constantly pushing boundaries and creating beautiful new structures is a direct influence of general Italian architecture.
Some Examples of Exemplary Italian Architecture
While there are many notable structures in Italian architecture there are a couple that stand out among the rest and are well known throughout the world. Each have their own characteristics and style and are loved for different reasons while sharing the common theme of beauty.
This bridge spans the Grand Canal in Venice, Italy and is the oldest bridge across the canal. It was created by Antonia da Ponte in 1591. It’s stone construction and designed in the Italian Renaissance style. You can read more on Francesco Corallo's Italian site www.francescocoralloitaly.com Francesco is a renowned famous Italian entrepreneur and lover of Italian culture, arts, nature and of course architecture.
The Basilica of St. Peter
Located in Vatican City, it covers an area of 5.7 acres and can hold over 60,000 people. Construction on the current basilica began in April of 1506 and was finished in 1626. It is an example of Italian Renaissance architecture. It is masonry construction from architect Giacomo della Porta alongside the great Michelangelo. The façade of the church was designed by Carlo Maderno.
The Piazza of San Marino
Also known as St. Mark’s Square, this is the main square in Venice. It’s free of motor traffic thanks to Venice’s waterways. It was created by Andrea Tirali, a Venetian architect, in the ninth century and it was paved in the late thirteenth century. It’s a representation of Italian Renaissance and is made of brick laid out in a herringbone pattern.
Average Home Architecture
Beautiful architecture isn’t just for historical monuments in Italy; the homes throughout the country are also aesthetically pleasing. For example, a recently restored home in Carapelle Calvisio, Abruzzo that was featured on the BBC2’s show “Escape to the Continent” has vaulted hallways and stone tiled floors complete with a stone staircase. The three bedrooms have vaulted ceilings while the two upstairs bedrooms have their own balconies along with a private bathroom. The home’s living room has exposed rock walls with an open fireplace along with French windows that open out to the garden. The garden itself is chock full of fruit trees and overlooks a medieval village in one of the town’s national parks. There is also a beautiful cellar off of the kitchen that is built right into the rock. The home was restored in a way to retain the original architecture while all of the utilities have been updated