After the fall of Rome, Italy slowly fell into a dark sleep. It wasn't until the 11th century when the Holy Roman Empire loosened its grip on Italy, that it reawakened. Autonomous city-states emerged, and though ravaged by waves of the plague, these tiny republics began to revitalize their cities and build on a massive level not witnessed since the rise of the Rome.
In the late 15th and 16th centuries, alliances among various city-states continually shifted as foreign superpowers tried to sink their claws into Italy. France, Spain, and the Holy Roman Empire fought out their battles with each other on Italian soil, while the threat of the Turks lurked off the shores of Venice. The masters who are most known for creating the works of art and architecture of the Renaissance, were also the greatest military and civil engineers of the time. With a knowledge of the ancients and a thirst for new invention, engineering rose to heights not seen since the Roman Empire - advancing methods in everything from civilian projects, to architecture, and finally - to war.
Some of the epoch's greatest feats of engineering were: The creation of a vast underground aqueduct system in Siena. The Building of the cupola of Santa Maria del Fiore by Brunelleschi
The advancement of fortification and firepower by engineers like Sangallo and di Giorgio. And, the renewal of Rome's glory as a city - from the repairing of the Roman aqueducts to the moving of St. Peters' mammoth obelisk.