Montignano
The origins of the Castle of Montignano date back to 962 when Otto I of Saxony was crowned in Milan as Emperor of Germany and King of  Italy by Pope John XII and he immediately tried to gain the loyalty [...]
Villa San Faustino
The castle of Villa San Faustino was part of the Terre Arnolfe in the tenth and eleventh centuries (mentioned in documents of the abbey of Farfa 1115 and 1118). The castle, connected to the important parish chu [...]
Colpetrazzo
Castle built between 1300 and 1400, it still preserves its medieval structure. Of particular interest is the medieval main door near the small church of San Bernardino. Above the church of San Bernardino is sit [...]
Mezzanelli
The castle of Mezzanelli has followed the fortunes of the various rulers who handled its political life. Once part of Terre Arnolfe, the castle was cited in documents from 1115 and 1118 (Earls Ridolfo, Saraceno [...]
Castel Rinaldi
Medieval village built in 1160 by a certain "Rinaldo Duke of Calabria", Castel Rinaldi was part of the fief of the Arnolfi. Constantly part of Guelph, Castel Rinaldi was often the center of infighting that mark [...]
Viepri
The fortified village of Viepri is wrapped in high hills, which ensured defense for centuries and still seem to hide it. Built after 1380 on the ruins of the demolished castle of Monte Schignano, its rule was t [...]
Martani Mountains
The Martani Mountains extend evenly from south to north for about 35 km between the provinces of Perugia and Terni. They border to the east on the Umbrian Valley and Valserra, to the west on th [...]
Castelvecchio
The village is today very different from what must have appeared in the Middle Ages. Today only some ruins of the fortified village remain, hidden by vegetation. Literature attest it as one of the most [...]

Catacombe

This name has been given to a vast system of catacombs, near Ponte Fonnaia, dating back to a period between III to V century a.C. It is the only example existing in Umbria of an underground Christian cemetery of vast proportions. The only Christian catacombs in Umbria are hidden among wheat fields and houses, probably built by the Christian community of the vicus, which developed very early (the hagiographic legend of San Brizio indicates the I-II century), and that was certainly very large (more than 300 burials were identified in the catacombs). Since 1948 the name of the catacombs is linked to the memory of San Faustino: in that year his bones were found in the abbey of the same name, not far from this area. The catacombs were partly filled inafter the abandonment of this stretch of the Via Flaminia, and remained unknown until the '600. We know from a letter from the nobleman Giuseppe Mattei from Todi, dated 1691, that the place is named Grotta Traiana and its description is quite suggestive: "you enter into the jaws of a large travertine rock, I you'd rather bend over and take a light with you, because you'll go into the darkness. Inside, after the descent, there are three underground tunnels all carved with a chisel"... The catacomb is not the size of the more well-known Christian catacombs of Rome, but still has an articulated structure, composed of a main ebbing corridor about 25 meters long and 4 meters high. In ancient times it was accessed from a steep staircase carved into the rock, now worn out and hidden beneath the modern iron staircase. Four lateral tunnels of different lengths branch off symmetrically from the central corridor. You may also notice small niches for the burial of children. Many burials are closed by slabs of marble or large tiles of clay and many tombs, called formae, are also dug in the ground. There are numerous graffiti with the symbol of the cross, palm or fish, related to the figure of Christ. Particularly interesting is a bull-shaped sarcophagus that led to the theory of a place dedicated to the cult of Mithras, then adapted to the Christian cemetery. Few archaeological finds: noteworthy the absence of inscriptions, due to the illiteracy of the population of the countryside. A small basilica next to the catacomb oriented to the east, rectangular and with a semicircular apse was discovered in 1997, thanks to the excavation allowed by the Pontifical Commission for Sacred Archaeology, and conducted by the Superintendence for Archaeological Heritage of Umbria. The building is probably connected to the nearby catacombs and occupied by 19 different types of tombs carved into the rock, the one located near the apse of a monumental kind, with arcosolium masonry. The artifacts found, bill gross oil lamps, pottery fragments and coins, are of the same period as those found in the catacombs, proof that the cemetery and the underground basilica above are contemporary. The presence of such a complex demonstrates the early spread of Christian worship in the area of Martana and it also emphasizes the concentration of population in the whole area, albeit of modest social level. The catacomb was obviously forgotten when this stretch of the old street lost its importance, and was gradually buried by the disastrous floods of Naja. Only in 1600 there was news of Trajan cave, named after the local family Traia, or because it was used by Trajan as an underground military passage; later on silence fell again until 1900 when it was mentioned at the Second Congress of the catacombs of Christian Archaeology.

 

Itineraries

Monte Martano Trekking
The route is accessible on foot or by bike and is located along the ridge of the Monti Martani. Starting Point is the leisure area of Acqua Canale indicated as a interess in the route map. Continue to
Andar per Castelli….tra storia e leggenda (2)
9,2 Km – Itinerario fruibile in auto e in bici Il percorso inizia con la visita del centro storico di Massa Martana, (Itin [...]
Historic and Naturalistic itinerary on the occidental flanks of the Martani Mountains
8,4 km – by car, 5,3km trekking. This itinerary is a  trekking along the western slope of the mountain Monte Castro,  a relief above Massa Martana. From the town of Massa Martana [...]

Accomodation

Restaurants
holiday home
Historical residences
Bed & breakfast
Hotels
Country House