Login or register (free and only takes a few minutes) to participate in this question.
You will also have access to many other tools and opportunities designed for those who have language-related jobs (or are passionate about them). Participation is free and the site has a strict confidentiality policy.
The Grove calls this a screen façade:
"The imposing screen façade is deservedly S.Michele's most famous feature" If you look at a picture of S. Michele in Pavia you'll see the sort of false façade common on Lombard churches
Not nearly as specific as your term of course, which is why the writer has had to describe at length what he / she means by a false façade in this case. But if you need a concise term, you probably won't find anything better.
"'Falseä façades, like that of San Michele Maggiore, resulted in designs that obviously belied the basilican section. Even before this, it had been the custom, where the three aisles had been expressed, to raise the walls of the façade much above the actual roof of the church, perhaps with a view to make the church appear externally larger than it really was. This fraud continued to be practised in the churches of Verona, and indeed throughout all Italy, so that it finally became characteristic of Italian church architecture. On the false façade thus obtained, ornament, utterly irrelevant for the most part, was spread with a more or less lavish hand. The façade of S. Ambrogio, Milan, with its great open arches is, perhaps, the most successful one the Lombards ever erected...." http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/05745c.htm
Since I ought to know this, I've been doing little research. There does not seem to be any discernible difference between "a vento" and "a vela"; perhaps they are alternative terms, unless the false windows are characteristic only of the "a vento" façade.
I cannot trace any special terms in English; all references to this feature describe it in full, i.e. "... the parapet (the portion of the facade that projects above / is elevated above the roof)."
If triangular, it could be a (façade) gable or pediment instead of a parapet.
Hope that's of some help.
Russell Jones United Kingdom Local time: 00:40 Specializes in field Native speaker of: English PRO pts in category: 364