The piano nobile is often the first or sometimes the second floor, located above an (often rusticated) ground floor containing minor rooms and service rooms. The reasons for this were so the rooms would have finer views, and more practically to avoid damp.
PIANO NOBILE The principal storey, containing the reception rooms and raised above the ground storey, in a building of the classical style.
PIER A square or rectangular post or pillar.
PILASTER A rectangular column applied to a wall and usually in a classical order.
The principal reception and living area in an Italian palace, the first floor above the ground. Image courtesy of Gretchen Ranger
The Italian term for a city square. Image courtesy of Phil Gruen ...
piano nobile: the principal storey of a building, of greater height than the other storeys and raised above a basement or ground floor.
piazza: an Italian public square; in 17th and 18th century England it came to denote a covered arcade surrounding a square.
Principal floor of a classical building above a ground floor or basement and with a lesser storey overhead.
Any Strong, solid support, frequently square in section or of composite section (compound pier).
- main floor of a house, which contains the principal rooms, and which is given added emphasis by having a ground floor or basement, and minor floors above. (Piano is Italian for storey) The sala (saloon) is the main room of the piano nobile.
~ - the principal floor of a large house, built in the style of renaissance architecture
Plan View - a drawing defined as a vertical orthographic projection on to a horizontal plane, with the horizontal plane cutting through the building.
BasementLowest, subordinate storey; hence the lowest part of a classical elevation, below the piano nobile or principal storey.BasilicaA Roman public hall; hence an aisled building, especially a church, with a clerestory, i.e. windows in the walls rising over the aisles.
~ the main floor of a building where the most important rooms would be located: literally "noble storey" in Italian.
Each palace has great suites of state apartments on the first floor - the piano nobile (second story in US) - with coved and painted ceilings. Externally this gives a splendid area of blank wall above each range of windows.
See also: What is the meaning of Ground, Principal, Classical, Floor, Architecture?