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 [...]

Chiesa di Sant’illuminata

The church of Santa Illuminata, surrounded by a wonderful atmosphere, according to tradition is erected over the tomb of the saint. The building dates back to the 1000s and from the same era is the adjoining monastery. It was run by the Camaldolese monks, in the service of the church of St. Apollinare in Classe in Ravenna, further evidence of the Byzantine corridor which maintained in difficult times contact with Rome (as reflected in a document dated 1138 Annales Camaldulenses). The monastery played an important role from a political point of view, and it is mentioned in several sources, among which a document in 1185 and a privilege of Pope Gregory IX in 1229. Unfortunately, the monastery was closed shortly after and the church passed to the Chapter of the Cathedral of Todi. In 1260 the prior was the illustrious Benedetto Caetani, the future Pope Bonifacio VIII. Today the silence still surrounds the church and the adjoining monastery, the facade, sober and elegant, has a fine portal and three round-arched recesses, but broad, flanked by two blind arches, over a mullioned window opens with a central column and a capital with a crutch, according to the recurring Umbrian typology that is also found in San Felice di Giano, San Faustino, SS. Fidenzio and Terenzio. On the pediment is a medieval plate of the 9th century, decorated with a cross with floral and faunal patterns and a human figure.

At the rear of the church is still visible a part of the superior apse with two slits for lighting. A bell tower is erected on top of the wall, not in symmetry with the center. The interior, unfortunately severely damaged and then restored, consists of a nave, which originally had the raised presbytery with crypt below and was covered by a barrel vault with soffits. The vault collapsed, but there are clearly visible traces on the back wall.

The presbytery was once raised as one of the nearby church of SS. Fidenzio and Terenzio. The crypt shows traces of its ancient splendor. The interior walls were plastered, but you can see traces of frescoes, though much ruined, almost illegible. Of great interest a picture of the 18th-century painter Giovanni Andrea Lezzerini depicting an episode from the life of St. Illuminata.

 

Curiosity: According to legend, Illuminata from Ravenna seems lived in the sixth century. She walked the Via Amerina to escape from the pagan parents and his persecutors. She arrived in Umbria performed miracles in Massa Martana. She was buried near the village and hers tomb is under the church of Santa Illuminata. According to reports of local historians, about 100 steps from the church to the east were the Roman therme of Papiniano, and in the same direction was the "Fontanella di S.Illuminata" miraculous for fevers tertian

Itineraries

Geo-Tourism in the Martana area
19 km - itinerary feasible by bicycle or motor vehicle  The itinerary is focused on the geology of the mountains around Massa Martana but also allows the visitor to appreciate natur [...]
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 [...]
Monte il Cerchio
11 km  (7,8 km by car and 3,2 km trekking. Feasible also by bycicle An overall perspective of the natural and historical landscape can be obtained from the top of the Monte Il Cerch [...]

Accomodation

Bed & breakfast
Country House
holiday home
Historical residences
Hotels
Restaurants