Top Ten Essential Architecture top ten Italian architecture  
     
1 Roman Colosseum  
17a.jpg (39045 bytes)

architect

unknown 

location

Rome, Italy

date

70 to 82

style

Ancient Roman, Classical, Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian engaged columns, Corinthian pilasters

construction

masonry, cut stone

type

amphitheater Theater

The Colosseum or Coliseum, originally known as the Flavian Amphitheatre (Latin: Amphitheatrum Flavium), is the largest amphitheatre built in the Roman empire. Originally capable of seating 50,000 spectators, it was once used for gladiatorial combat. It was built in the 70s AD by Jewish slaves captured at the end of the Great Jewish Revolt.
 
     
2 Pantheon  
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architect

unknown 

location

Rome, Italy

date

118 to 126

style

Roman Corinthian

construction

System bearing masonry- Great domed hall with oculus 

type

Temple, Church

The Pantheon (Latin Pantheon, rarely Pantheum[1], from Greek Pantheion, meaning "Shrine of all the Gods") is a building in Rome which was originally built as a temple to the seven deities of the seven planets in the state religion of Ancient Rome, but which has been a Christian church since the 7th century. It is the best-preserved of all Roman buildings and the oldest important building in the world with its original roof intact. It has been in continuous use throughout its history. Although the identity of the Pantheon's primary architect remains uncertain, it is largely assigned to Apollodorus of Damascus.
 
     
3 St. Peter's of Rome  

architect

Giacomo della Porta with Michelangelo  Facade Designed by Carlo Maderno, 1608-1614

location

Vatican City, surrounded by Rome, Italy

date

1546 to 1564 and 1590

style

Italian Rennaisance

construction

masonry

type

Church

The Basilica of Saint Peter, officially known in Italian as the Basilica di San Pietro in Vaticano and colloquially called Saint Peter's Basilica, ranks second among the four major basilicas of Rome (San Giovanni in Laterano, San Pietro, Santa Maria Maggiore and San Paulo) and its Vatican City enclave. Possibly the largest church in Christianity, it covers an area of 5.7 acres (23,000 m²) and has a capacity of over 60,000 people. One of the holiest sites of Christendom, it is traditionally the burial site of basilica namesake Saint Peter, who was one of the twelve apostles of Jesus, first Bishop of Antioch, and later first Bishop of Rome. Although the New Testament does not mention Peter either in Rome, or martyred there, a very old tradition holds that his tomb is below the baldachino and altar; for this reason, many Popes, starting with the first ones, have been buried there. Construction on the current basilica began on April 18, 1506 and was completed in 1626, and was built over the Constantinian basilica.
 
     
4 Piazza of San Marco, Venice  

architect

Venetian architect Andrea Tirali

location

Venice, Italy

date

Piazza originated in the 9th century, paved in the late 13th century

style

Italian Rennaisance

construction

bricks laid in a herringbone pattern

type

piazza Outdoor space

Piazza San Marco, often known in English as St Mark's Square, is the principal square of Venice.

A remark often attributed to Napoleon (but perhaps more correctly to Alfred de Musset) calls the Piazza San Marco "the drawing room of Europe." It is the only great urban space in a European city where human voices prevail over the sounds of motorized traffic, which is confined to Venice's waterways. It is the only urban space called a piazza in Venice; the others, regardless of size, are called campi.

As the central landmark and gathering place for Venice, Piazza San Marco is extremely popular with tourists, photographers and pigeons.
 
     
5 Doge's Palace, Venice  
001-DogesPalace.jpg (49004 bytes)

architect

unknown

location

Venice, Italy

date

1309 to 1424

style

Italian Gothic

construction

coloured marble 

type

Palace

The Doge's Palace (Italian Palazzo Ducale) is a gothic palace in Venice.

The current palace was largely constructed from 1309 to 1424 on 9th century origins, designed perhaps by Filippo Calendario. Giovanni and Bartolomeo Buon created the so-called Porta della Carta, a monumental late-gothic gate on the Piazzetta side of the palace.
 
     
6 Rialto Bridge, Venice  
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architect

Antonio da Ponte

location

Venice, Italy 

date

1591

style

Italian Rennaisance

construction

stone

type

Bridge

The Rialto Bridge (Italian: Ponte di Rialto) spans the Grand Canal in Venice. It is the oldest bridge across the canal and probably the most famous in the city.

The first dry crossing of the Grand Canal was a pontoon bridge built in 1181 by Nicolò Barattieri. It was called the Ponte della Moneta, presumably because of the mint that stood near its eastern entrance.
 
     
7 Florence Cathedral  
002-Firenze.Duomo01.jpg (87571 bytes)

architect

Arnolfo di Cambio Dome added by Filippo Brunelleschi

location

Florence, Italy

date

1296 to 1462

style

Italian Rennaisance

construction

masonry

type

Church

The Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore is the cathedral church, or Duomo, of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Florence, noted for its distinctive dome. Its name (which translates as "Saint Mary of the Flower") refers to the lily, symbol of Florence, or to the old town name Fiorenza. But a 15th c. document on the other hand states that the "flower" refers to Christ.

The cathedral complex includes the church proper, the Battistero di San Giovanni (Florence), built in Florence after Santa Croce and Santa Maria Novella.
 
     
8 Ponte Vecchio, Florence  
007B.jpg (80983 bytes)

architect

Taddeo Gaddi

location

Florence, Italy

date

1345 and 1564

style

Italian Mediaeval Vernacular

construction

masonry, stone arches

type

Bridge

The Ponte Vecchio (Italian for Old Bridge) is a famous medieval bridge over the Arno, in Florence, Italy, noted for having shops (mainly jewelers) built along it. It is Europe's oldest segmental arch bridge.

Believed to have been first built in Roman times, it was originally made of wood. After being destroyed by a flood in 1333 it was rebuilt in 1345, this time in stone. Most of the design is attributed to Taddeo Gaddi. The bridge consists of three segmental arches, the main arch has a span of 30 meters (98 feet) the two side arches each span 27 meters (88 feet). The rise of the arches is between 3.5 and 4.4 meters (11 1/2 to 14 1/2 feet), and the rise-to-span ratio approximately 1:5.
 
     
9 S. Maria Novella, Florence  
008A.jpg (49942 bytes)

architect

Leon Battista Alberti Original Latin cross plan church by Fra Sisto and Fra Ristoro, 1278 to 1350. Renaissance facade by Alberti, begun 1456. 

location

Florence, Italy

date

1456 to 1470

style

Gothic with Italian Rennaisance facade

construction

masonry 

type

Church

Santa Maria Novella is a church in Florence, Italy, situated just across the main railway station which shares its name. Chronologically, it is the first great basilica in Florence

The church and the adjoining cloister and chapterhouse contain a store of art treasures and funerary monuments. They are especially famous for their frescoes by masters of Gothic and early Renaissance. They were financed through the generosity of the most important Florentine families, who ensured themselves of funerary chapels on consecrated ground.
 
     
10 Villa Capra, or Villa Rotunda, near Vicenza  
003-rotunda2.jpg (44820 bytes)

architect

Andrea Palladio Completed by Vincenffarzo Scamozzi. 

location

near Vicenza, Italy

date

1566 to 1571

style

Italian Rennaisance

construction

bearing masonry 

type

House

Villa Capra "La Rotonda" is a Renaissance villa in Vicenza, northern Italy, designed by Andrea Palladio. Correctly but seldom known as Villa Almerico-Capra, it is also known as Villa Rotonda, Villa Rotunda, Villa La Rotonda, or Villa Almerico. The name 'Capra' derives from the Capra brothers who completed the building after it was ceded to them in 1591.

Like other Palladio's work in Vicenza, it is included in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list.