The square, the central point of the Trastevere district, takes its name from the 3rd century basilica founded by Pope Callistus. The church was one of the first official places of worship of Roman Christianity and the first sacred building dedicated to the Virgin. The Basilica stands on a mystical and legendary site: here in 38 BC a gush of mineral oil flowed out, a sign interpreted by the early Christians as a message of the coming of Christ, the Anointed One of the Lord.
In the 12th century, the building was almost completely rebuilt by Innocent II using mostly marble and travertine from the Baths of Caracalla.
In the centre of the square stands a fountain that, according to tradition, dates back to Augustus, thus holding the record as the oldest in Rome.
Before proceeding with the work, Vivenda carried out an analysis through stratigraphic examinations of the material composition of the plasterwork and colour tones of the existing paintings in order to respect the historicity of the building.
The intervention involved a complete restoration of the building’s façades. Through the removal and consolidation of parts, the plasterwork, window frames, moulded cornices and architectural elements on the façade were restored.
The reconstructed wall frameworks and the smoothing of the detached surfaces were carried out with lime-based products. The finishing of the plaster surfaces was also carried out with lime-based paint in addition to the use of natural dyes for the creation of light glazes. Travertine was pictorially recreated on all architectural elements.
The external window frames and shutters were restored and painted. A low-pressure cleaning operation covered all the stone elements.