Restoration facade, San Francesco di Paola Church MILANO

The restoration prospects of the San Francesco di Paola Church

The intervention focused on the recovery of late 19th century character of the building (as designed by Ing. Emilio Alemagna in 1889), and he did by retrieving the finishes under the layers that have been added during the 1993 restoration: the amber repainting of pilasters was removed to retrieve the color of the mixture of decorative concrete (intense pinkish tone), the layer to greenish tint of the intonachino sfondati was removed to recover the layer of smooth and homogeneous white intonachino concealed by the previous intervention.

The first tests performed on plaster, backgrounds at the beginning of the works, revealed the presence of a layer of clear light plaster and smooth, a high finish, which during the work was totally recovered and integrated into missing parts.

Stone mouldings are affected mainly by deposits of dust and greasy substances were cleaned up, plastered and protected with water-repellent products. In fact, the first sample tests on the statues, on moulded cornices and capitals, using a wash with detergent and toothbrushes, showed the real chromatic aspect of stone material, characterized by shades of color that enhances the architectural details.

The intervention of restoration made it possible to rediscover the colors and original nineteenth-century finishes, characterized by chromatic contrasts clearly marked where the architectural lines have regained its natural depth.


Church of s. Francesco di Paola: the façade (curated by Dr. Arch. Sonia Sganzerla)

In 1825, having focused on the completion of the Interior, the Church overlooked on Corso di Porta Nuova, with the incomplete prospectus, as witnessed in the mid-18TH century from a drawing of Marc’Antonio Dal Re. The Workshop responsible for maintenance of the Church and of all his goods, decided to entrust the task of the project of the architect Carlo Amati facade, distinguished member of the Workshop itself and Ornate Public Commission (see “documentation of the Archivio storico Factories Ornate civico”). The architect presented a project in the neoclassical style, with facing tetrastyle portico which insisted, in part, on the road, the site occupied until 1822 (see drawing of Marc’Antonio DalRe) by an imposing staircase that the municipality had made reduce to enlarge Strada Nuova.

The boss of the façade was because of the rejection of the project by the Congregation Hall. The project suffered various vicissitudes and was repeatedly amended; in 1839 the Ornato Commission approved it but was commented negatively by Carlo Cattaneo. He in his “Politecnico” in 1839 wrote: “s. Francesco barocco has the rare virtue of unity. (…) It may be believed that in a city where such destruction (that of a Baroque taste updated under the name of “Renaissance” of Rococo and Louis XIV) finds many zealous, could not more be born at the same moment the thought of stick a ruthlessly façade to the Church just ruthlessly classical baroque s. Francesco, the only place where the borrominesca architecture would reason and right to sit in peace … ”

Perhaps the negative comment of Cattaneo influenced the distinguished members of the City Council that however this project, exposing, though, the motivation of the Pronaos too prominent.

In 1873 the facade returned topical: project of ing. Giuseppe Balzaretto, which envisaged the completion of part of the facade already in opera with elements of everything consistant with the existing, obtained all the approvals but was not realized.

In 1889 a generous bound Countess Teresa della Somaglia and copious donations of parishioners to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of priestly Provost Don Stefano Sormani, allowed him to carry out the work on the project entrusted to the architect nob. Emilio Alemagna, who also followed the direction of the work. The proposal of Mr. Alemagna plans to leave unchanged the eighteenth-century facade and operates only on the upper part of the frieze and deleting elements by moving other than the approved project in 1873. In the lower part of the three entrances were made on his project. Presented the project jointly in 1889, the Hygienic Construction Committee delivers a favourable opinion but suggests that the Municipal Council to propose to the parish a further retreat of the steps to make the road easier.

In 1890 was an agreement to reduce that also included compensation of £ 500 to the Workshop. The work of the facade is concluded at the end of 1891. The facade underwent at least three redevelopment projects. The first in 1933, during which were resumed painting. The second in 1963: Besides the paint, loose parts were consolidated of cornices and statues.

The parish of s. Francesco di Paola



Dr. Arch. Sonia Sganzerla

Soprintendenza per i beni architettonici e paesaggistici-Milan


Project Details

Skills : Architectural, Stone sculptures

© Restauratore Eros Zanotti - Iscrizione albo artigiani n°410910 - Att.ne SOA OS2A Classifica 2° n°10856AL/23/00