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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]

Historical and artistic buildings not included in the itineraries

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


In the thirteenth century the village of Zampani and its inhabitants were included in the territory of the Gagliole castle that stood on top of the hill now called Torracio. The castle was destroyed in 1307, and Zampani became the most important center of the surrounding area and it also acquired the title in official documents. In the land register of 1322, under the name of Villa dei Zampani are included 26 people, many of which are the same or the heirs of those registered in 1290 under the castle of Gagliole.

The inhabitants of Zampani were also organized into Communitas or Universitas of agrarian character and benefited together of the resources of a large portion of land in the mountains behind in term of Calvellis Fagieti and Montosoli.

From the fifteenth century Zampani joined the municipality of Massa and its inhabitants fall into the religious jurisdiction of the parish of San Felice di Massa. In the state of souls compiled in 1639 by the archpriest Don Andrea Boncompagni, are recorded in the village of Zampani 13 families with 66 inhabitants. Zampani is included in the territory of the bare and rocky hill called Rottomario because, according to a well established tradition in Roman times, an armed clash took place during which the followers of Mario were defeated by those of Silla. In fact, the original name was Griptonario, that means "place full of caves". One of these caves is still called Cave of San Felice because tradition has it that the holy Bishop of the City Martana, martyred in 303 AD, withdrew in prayer there. In ancient times, at least until the end of 1500, this event was celebrated with a solemn procession that went from the parish church of San Felice to the cave.

Sant’Ilario It is a very old country church, documented since the thirteenth century, with a single nave, a gabled roof and a semicircular apse. For a long time it was under the abbot of the monastery of San Pietro in Monte. Now in a state of neglect, hidden by vegetation, it preserves a sixteenth century fresco depicting a Madonna and Child.

San Valentino  Ancient rural church documented since the thirteenth century. One nave and facade of triangular shape; formerly also gave its name to a villa which in 1290 hosted 7 families. It's currently in ruins but still noticeable in the presbytery is the entrance to a subterranean environment, maybe a crypt, buried at the end of the 16th century by order of the bishop of Todi Angelo Cesi.

Cantalupo On a foothill of the mountain of Bandita in the Middle Age used to stand the castle of Cantalupo: it was probably destroyed in the struggles between Guelphs and Ghibellines that in the fourteenth century also involved the territory of Massa.

Today, in the village of Casalini, remains a part of its walls that surrounds a large area in which you can find many traces of its constructions.

Castello di Gagliole On top of Torraccio in the Middle Age stood the Gagliole castle; allegedly built by a certain Galliolo that would build in 1035 naming it after himself. More likely the castle's name comes from the word Lombard gahagi = fence, and perhaps it was built between the seventh and eighth centuries as a defensive outpost of the Lombard Duchy of Spoleto. In 1290 it was owned by Massa nobles Raniero and Galgano Bonaccorsi and 14 families lived there.

Impregnable Guelph stronghold, it was repeatedly attacked in vain by the Ghibellines of Todi until 1307, when it was purchased by the town of Todi, destroyed and razed to the ground. Today, only a few ruins of the castle of Gagliole remain, choked by vegetation. It had in its appurtenances the churches of San Bartolomeo and San Giacomo. The latter, documented since the thirteenth century, was at the foot of the hill where the castle stood, along the ancient route of the Via Flaminia. Perfectly preserved until the middle of this century, it's now reduced to a pile of rubble because on several occasions it was used as a stone quarry.

Castello delle Rocchette  Ancient castle that still stands well preserved on a high hill, mentioned for the first time in a document from 1295 as belonging to the heirs of Zurcio Gottofredi. In 1339 it was restored by the noble Antonio di Mariano of Castelvecchio. In other documents of 1400 it is mentioned as Rocca d'Angiolo of Mattiolo. Inside the castle, the church of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception has an interesting cycle of frescoes of the 16th century, including one depicting the Madonna del Soccorso, it is a highly original iconography of the Virgin represented while protecting the child from the devil with a stick. The village is now private property.

Rocca di Bonaccorso   It is believed that the Rocca di Bonaccorso was erected towards the end of the year 1000 by the founder of the noble Massetana family of Bonaccorsi-Fonzi. It stood on the hill in front of the homonymous spring, and was most likely a fort used to control the roads that converged to the important mountain pass of Water Channel. This is confirmed by a document from 1397 in which Pope Boniface IX granted to the noble of Massa Lello Bonaccorsi the power to levy tolls and duties of all those who passed through the area.

Madonna dell'acqua Small church built near a stream, probably to decorate a majesty, with a 16th-century fresco depicting the Madonna and Child, on the left side of the front door.

Restored in 1853 by Abbot Giuseppe Lauri, it has an altar decorated with painted architecture that frames the image of the Madonna and Child with the same iconography of the outside fresco.

Mulino di Santa Maria On the left of Highway exit Massa Martana are clearly visible the remains of an old mill, which formerly belonged to the abbey of Santa Maria in Pantano, set on a substructure of the Roman era, belonging to the Via Flaminia, perhaps the remains of a bridge, now destroyed, that crossed the stream Naia.


Umbria Music Fest
LA MAGNATA "Storica"
Premio Simone Saveri


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