The work "Renaissance" is derived from the term "la rinascita" and seems to have stuck since. Italian Renaissance architecture has a very distinguishing style to it. It has the classical look of Roman architecture and Italian Renaissance architects would add their own style. The style of the buildings and art and changed over time with the three different time periods of Italian architecture. The three main periods of Italian architecture are Quattrocento (ca. 1400-1500), High Renaissance (ca. 1500-1525), and Mannerism (ca. 1520-1600.)
The time period Quattrocento in Italian architecture is when the styles of the Renaissance were really clarified and made obvious. Its style is really based on classical Roman archicture and geometry. The first Renaissance architect to become very successful in thistime period was Filippo Brunelleschi (1377-1446.) He can be found in the most historical documents on the Quattrocento meaning he must of been a very dominant architect and create buildings and have a lot of knowledge to grab many people's attention throughout Italy. Also, Italian architects seemed to have an interest in Greek ruins and styles. Historians can justify this through classical texts on architecture which seemed to focus on the inspiration the Roman and Greek style gave architects living during the Renaissance.
Some aspects of the High Renaissance are similar to the Quattrocento, but on a bigger scale. The most representative architect is Donato Bramante (1444-1514) who made the switch from classical buildings to a more contemporary style. And once again, a lot of the architects' style is based on classical Roman style. But, it was really Bramante's style that dominated the High Renaissance style.
In the Mannerism period, many architects experimented with the idea of emphasizing solid and spatial relationships in their architecture. The Renaissance idea of harmony was replaced with a more imaginative and less strict style and "rhythm." A very famous example of an architect from the Mannerism period was Michelangelo (1475-1564.) Michelangelo is said to have created the pilaster that stretches form the bottom to the top of a facade. He used his design in the Campidoflio which is in Rome. The Mannerism period is when everything really changed for Italian architectural style.