Italian architecture: its fact and characteristics

italian architecture
Written by Dhrubajyoti Roy

We all have heard and read about the Greece and roman influence in Italy, the land of fashion, art and music, of course, Italy is one of few countries in the world which have its root as early as the first human in the earth, from beaches to spicy Italian food the country stands out for most of the things in the world, not less the roman empire had their root in Italy alone.

Italy has proud of giving the world a gift called architecture, and even today some of the ancient architecture from Italy is dominating the world of architecture and fashion.

  • Ancient Greece architecture
  • Ancient roman architecture
  • Byzantine and Romanesque architecture
  • Italian gothic and Rocco architecture
  • Fascist architecture
  • Modern architecture
italian architecture

Ancient Greek architecture:

From scientific words to the invention of anything we refer the Greek for their intelligence and their education which is still acting as a reference to the entire world, the Greek is still considered as the dominant intellectual civilization, not less their architecture to one of the most dominant arts in history, not only to the Europe the Greek architecture is spread among the world from America to Australia, though today we have collapsed buildings to witness the mighty Greek architectures.

Italy is one of the roots of ancient Greece and their architecture, most of the Greek architecture are of temples, it acted as one of most emerging religious architecture of its time, the Greek’s were also famous for their art and they did construct many theatres to portray art.

The Greek architecture even acted as a formation of many cities and towns, from stories to histories we are witnessing it even today, simplicity and harmony were their architectural philosophy for time, they even followed orders for their architectural style like doric, ionic, Corinthian and Tuscan.

Later the ancient Greek architecture acted as a great influence for almost all of the European architecture and Italian architecture too.

Temple of Athena

To stand as a proof, the temple of Athena in Paestum, Italy is one fine example of ancient Italian Greek’s architecture, though it is in a destroyed state, we can still witness some of the elements of Greek’s architecture, the tall and giant pillars are some of the core features of the architecture.

Ancient roman architecture:

Rome is widely popular for their mighty empire and the formation of modern civilization even at the ancient times, Rome is one of the most popular cities in the world for centuries, not to miss the proverb, “Rome can’t be built in a day”, that’s the impact of Rome to the entire world for their creation of magical cities with castles which sing their mighty and the magnificent culture which they always lived, architecture is another pillar of the Roman civilization, even the collapsed building of the Rome teach us more about architecture than the one we are reading.

Though the roman architecture is born from the Greek’s architectural style, it formed a new architectural philosophy and style of its own, roman architecture introduced many things from arches to domes to the world of architecture and act as another foundation of classical architecture along with the ancient Greek architecture.

Usage of concrete was another core element of roman architecture, the roman architecture used to create an entire country from building theatre and temple to public buildings and defensive castles, it acted as an entire architectural philosophy for a country or a community.

The temple of peace or colosseum is built in the Roman architectural style, though It is half destroyed by time, it is still magic in its broken way, it is one of architecture which shows us what roman architecture means and what it is capable of and made its way to the Italian architecture.

Byzantine and Romanesque architecture:

Byzantine is one of revolutionary architecture when the roman dynasty witnessed their replacement of capital city from Rome to Byzantine, the architecture acted as an Influence of new formation of the empire, Constantine the great were one of the major reason behind the birth of the architecture, the architecture was used for the political change in the ancient Rome and it had most of the ancient roman features reflected in the buildings but with more decorations and attractions to give new hope.

St mark’s basilica in Venice is a great witness of the byzantine architecture for its magnificent decorations in both the interior and exterior, the usage of bright lights were some of best feature used by the Byzantine architecture, very soon Italy and the people adapted to the architectural style and very soon it made its way to the Italian architecture list.

Romanesque architecture

Romanesque architecture is another architecture style which have its root in Italy and Italian architecture, the architecture acted as a revolutionary one in the Christianity religion, the mixture of ancient Greek and Roman architecture were the characteristics of the Romanesque architecture style.

We can witness the Romanesque architecture all over the world not only in Italy, but the giant walls with arches and arcades were also some features of Romanesque, the usage of towers first introduced with the Romanesque architecture to the entire world.

One world wonder the mighty tall tower of Pisa is one mysterious Romanesque architecture the world has ever witnessed and there’s a science behind it which isn’t unveiled even today, the softened soil makes it to lean and still the architecture is a fine art in entire Italy.

Gothic and Rocco architecture:

Gothic is another famous architecture style of the world and it even made its root to Italy in the 12th century, the giant domes in circular shape with arches all around made the gothic architecture spread across the world, Italy too adapted the architectural style for its high decorations and interior design.

Large glassed windows with pointed arches and ribbed vaults were some of the core characteristics of the gothic architecture and acted as a reason behind the quick adaption of the style.

Basilica of Saint Francis in Assisi, Italy –The catholic building of the 12th century is made of Italian gothic style with Italian scent but made of gothic features and characteristics, the faded white building is one thing to look and amuse the architectural capacity of gothic architecture in Italy.

Rocco architecture:

Rocco is another ornamental architecture and is very similar to the baroque architecture style, the architecture used more attractive elements like bright and candescent lights to giant mirrors to reflect the interior to itself, the fine usage of marbles and mosaic made it look fancier and attracted people.

Rocco style has all the features of the baroque but with a little more ornaments used, more than just an architecture Rocco acted as a style of art from painting to making furniture, the highly decorated style made its way to any parts of the world.

Palazzo Pianetti –If you ever get a chance to visit the Jesi town in the Marche region of Italy there’s a palace made out of the Rocco style name palazzo Pianetti with all the glorious elements and fancy structure, it is one of the finest palaces ever build in Italy, make sure to visit and one fine milestone of the Italian architecture.

Fascist architecture:

Though the name is a bit unusual, like many architectures which acted as a great influence for religions and political purposes, the fascist architecture used as a weapon by the fascist ideology, the architecture had a great influence of the Roman architecture style and became widely famous in the early 19s along with modernism and nationalism, a fascist government like Hitler and Mussolini used the architecture style to create and seed the fascist ideology into people.

Mussolini were the major reason in the development of fascist architecture in Italy and it acted well with the country and for the ideology too,

Palazzo Della Civilta Italiana in Italy is a model of the fascist architecture build for the citizen of Italy and to make their agenda stronger.

Modern architecture:

Though Rome is still one of the ancient city which made its way to more than centuries to withstand, it too adapted its way to the modern era with all the advancement, the modern and contemporary architecture too created its space in Rome and Italy.

The country which introduced the world true classical architecture adapted to the usage of buildings made with glass and steels, today we can see tall towers and skyscrapers all over Italy thanks to the modernism.

Generali Tower in Milan, Italy is one fine architecture to look at and get amused all day, though we can witness all the magic in Italy for its classical architecture all over the country, seeing something polished like the modern architecture is a treat to the eye, with high usage of steel and glasses the Generali tower stand as a witness of modern architecture in Italy


Italy have seen many architecture styles and philosophies from the earliest of human civilization to the most modern culture, the country is a dynasty with all the advanced technology, from fashion to the arts along with architectures scattered across it is sure a museum in its own way.

About the author

Dhrubajyoti Roy

I am a 5th-year student pursuing a bachelor's course in Architecture. I partake in freelancing work in the field of Architecture range from buildings in Autocad to 3D Rendering and work through in Lumion.

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