Piano nobile

The piano nobile (Italian for "noble floor" or "noble level", also sometimes referred to by the corresponding French term, bel étage) is the principal floor of a palazzo. This floor contains the main reception and bedrooms of the house.

An early-15th-century piano nobile at the Palazzo dei Diamanti, Ferrara. Its larger windows indicate its superior status compared with the rooms on the floor below.
Palais Gise in Munich: the rich decor of the facade underlines the meaning of the piano nobile on the second floor.
At the 18th-century Kedleston Hall in Derbyshire, the piano nobile is placed above a rusticated ground floor, and reached by an external staircase. The uppermost windows indicate that the upper floor is of far lower status.