Italy Architecture Guide

Are you interest in Italian architecture? Do you want to know what architecture you simply must see on your holiday to Italy? Our guide to architecture in Italy gives you the facts & information you’ll want to know.

Ancient Rome was once the world’s superpower and capital of culture. While much of what Italy achieved in its history may be no longer be easily accessible to ordinary people toady, this is not the case with Roman architecture in Italy.  The origins of Roman architecture in Italy actually lie with the Greeks, some of whom migrated to the south of Italy bringing their knowledge of architecture with them. The legacy of Greek architecture in Italy can still be seen today in some temples scattered across the south of Italy including Sicily. The Romans learnt architecture from the Greeks and developed it to create works of architecture on a much grander scale. Although by no means the only surviving example of Roman architecture in Italy, the Coliseum in Rome represents the pinnacle of Roman architecture in Italy and gives the visitor an idea of how developed architecture was in Italy nearly three thousand years ago.

Roman Architecture outside Italy

Apart from Roman architecture in Italy, examples of Roman architecture survive as far away as England in the west where Hadrian’s Wall stands, and to the East, the remains of an entire Roman town can still be seen at Ephesus in Turkey.

Byzantine Architecture in Italy

After the decline of the Roman Empire, leadership in the field of Architecture passed to the Byzantine Empire based in modern day Istanbul. Architecture in Italy from this period has obvious Byzantine influences which are most visibly seen the in the Basilica of St Mark in Venice.

Romanesque Architecture in Italy

The Romanesque school of architecture originated in the North of Italy in the 11th century and remained the dominant style of Architecture in Italy, France and Spain for about one hundred years. Romanesque architecture in Italy is characterised by the prolific use of semi circles in several aspects of architecture including all doorways and window frames. Those interested in seeing examples of Romanesque architecture in Italy should visit the town of Pisa in the north of Italy.

Gothic Architecture in Italy

Gothic architecture was the school of architecture that replaced Romanesque in much of Western Europe. Although gothic architecture has its roots in France, it spread quite quickly to Italy in the 12th century and remained popular until the 13th century. A good example of architecture in Italy built in the Gothic style is the Basilica of St Francis of Assisi.

Renaissance Architecture in Italy

The Renaissance was a time of great advances in art in Italy. Renaissance architecture, among other things, is notable for its use of art to adorn the walls and ceiling of buildings. Several great names in Italian art such as Raphael and Michelangelo were central to the development of Christian art in Italy during the Renaissance under the patronage of the pope. One of the most famous examples of the fusion between Renaissance art and architecture can be found at St Peter’s Basilica in Rome.