Protection of landscape requires administrative authorities to express particularly complex fact driven analysis in order to decide whether and to what extent the requirements provided for by the law are met. Such requirements are in fact established in a vague fashion, through so-called "indeterminate legal concepts". In addition they refer to rules and standards drawn by technical specialised disciplines unfamiliar to lawyers. Moving from this premise, the work examines the epistemological complexity of the landscape issue. It considers, namely, the concept of landscape as elaborated by case law and the legislation taking into account both the multi-layered frame of 'landscape administration' and the meaning of landscape as a primary and absolute value according to Art. 9 of the Constitution. The work goes on to analyse the concept of landscape as a complex system of meanings in the European Landscape Convention and in the Cultural Heritage and Landscape Code. The final part of the article deals with the special position enjoyed by the public interest to the protection of landscape in the legal system and the limits that administrative courts meet in assessing the decisions of administrative authorities vis-à-vis the central role of administrative procedure in catalysing the different meanings of landscape.