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 [...]

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 follow the signs for  Martani. After a few kilometers you will come across the small church Ascensione where the walk begins. This Ancient rural church is documented since the thirteenth century under the name of Santa Maria de Podio. Later it was called Santa Maria de Castro and after the reconstruction of the seventeenth century it was commonly called Ascensione. From here the itinerary will run along the road for two hundred meters and then start the beginning of the trail called "Strada della Perazza". The trail runs for about 1 km uphill a pregelove wood of Quercus ilex on a natural background rocky limestone. Arriving at the summit of Monte Castro, the path takes on a sub level, through juniper and secondary grasslands; during the spring many species of small orchids dots the ground of bright colors. The path will then join again the provincial street; at the junction you can see a natural wonder of this land: forests of oak dominate the south-western flank of the mountain while the flanks facing north-east are covered with a beech wood (some specimens are here p of considerable size and age.  Looking at the chain of the Martani mountains you are can spot the abbey  of San Pietro in Monte (privately owned structure). All around you can also see the reforestation performed after the last war aimed at restoring the vegetation of our mountains but also you can see some of the most majestic specimens of beech trees of the entire Umbria region. Continuing along the main road downhill after roughly 3 km you will reach back the Troscia and your car.




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 the valley of the Tiber and that of the Naia and to the south on the Terni basin with the Nera River. The chain of Martani Mountains is surrounded by important cities and historical centers: Montefalco and Foligno to the north, Spoleto to the east, Todi, Acquasparta and Sangemini to the west and Terni to the south. There are also numerous ancient finds and archaeological sites. The most important is Carsulae.
The tops of Martani Mountains are mostly rounded and covered with grass. The main are (from N to S): Monte Martano (1094 m) - Monte Capoccia Pelata (1054 m) - Monte Forzano (1086 m) – Cima Panco (1013 m) - Torre Maggiore (1121 m) - Monte Torricella (1054 m). The vegetation predominantly consists of oak and, in higher areas, beech. The Martani are full of caves, sinkholes and water erosion inside the sinkholes. The Martani are part of the Umbria-Marche Apennine: they are a well-defined geomorphological and lithological entity described as a system of folds and thrust faults arranged to form an arc in eastern convexity. The summit areas emerge micritic limestones: you are placed in an environment of pelagic sedimentation from the Lower Jurassic, ie from 190 million years ago. Along the ridge one can observe interesting karst morphotypes, formed by the corrosive action of rainwater on limestone, such as sinkholes, diffusely present along the chain (The Tifene, Corva of Mezzanelli, Pozzale, etc..), to the west of the same and karst plains such as Casetta San Severo. Near the summit of Monte Martano a strong humanization altered the mountain landscape. In this place, considered strategic for position, exposure and altitude, a considerable number of radio and television repeaters  were placed.

Chiesa dell'Ascensione

Old country church documented since the 13th century with the name Santa Maria de Podio. Afterwards it was known as Santa Maria de Castro and, after its restoration in the 17th century, as “chiesa dell’ Ascensione”. The name dedicated to the Madonna remains however its main name.



Fagus sylvatica L. is widespread in the Alps and the Apennines, where it forms pure forests (beech) or blends of more than 900 m above sea level on Apennines. When climatic conditions permit the beech can find much lower.

It is a plant that easily reaches 25-30 meters in height. The leaves are thick, oval leaves, lighter underneath. The leaves are arranged on the branch in an alternating fashion, polished on both faces, with wavy margins, ciliate. In the Autumn take on a characteristic orange or red-brown color. It has a massive canopy, highly branched and dense foliage, easily recognizable from a distance because it's very rounded and wide, with erect branches of apical vertical proportions.


San Pietro in Monte

It was built by the Benedictines in 1000 and suppressed at the end of the fourteenth century. The Abbey had jurisdiction over a large territory and at the dependencies of its Abbot were also the churches of St. Ippolito of Castelvecchio and San Ilario of Todi. Its rich and valuable archive has been moved after the suppression to the Archives of the Cathedral of Spoleto. Like most Christian buildings, San Pietro was built on the remains of a Roman structure, presumably a temple dedicated to Mars, particularly revered in this area, so as to give the name of Martani to the mountains, the territory and the Vicus Martis.

This hypothesis is also supported by the discovery of some exhibits including a stone with a Roman inscription (used to support the church altar table, stored in the private chapel adjoining the building abbey).

Curiosity: Greeks and Romans outlined in a different way the figure of the god of war:

For the Greeks, Ares was a god of irrational and bloody with no special consideration;

For the Romans, who called it Marte, was second only to the king of Olympus.

In reality, his cult was already widespread among the Pre Roman civilizations, who regarded him as the god of nature and fertility, but also of thunder and rain.

According to mythology, Juno turned to Flora (goddess of flowers), looking for revenge on her husband Jupiter (alone had conceived Minerva)

The goddess of flowers and spring showed her a special flower that, on contact, allowed her to generate Marte, then raised by Priapus at art of war.

When Rome decided to extend their boundaries, promoting the series of military campaigns that gradually transformed it into an empire of vast dimensions, Marte was only associated with the war. Marte is considered the father of the Roman people: from its union with Rea Silvia born Romulo and Remo, the founders of the city. The first month of the archaic calendar (march) took by him name and to Marte were dedicated the main parties.

From the iconographic point of view, the god of war was always represented as a vigorous man, manly-looking, sometimes with a beard, with helmet and shield, spear and sword, rarely with full armor.



An itinerary through silence around the Martana area
14  km - itinerary feasible by bicycle or motor vehicle. This itinerary proposes to the visitors a unique historical and artistic perspective on the Martana area. It begins from th [...]
Martana Trekking
The Martani Trekking is a project of touristic-natural paths to enhance the mountain range. Martani Mountains stretches for about 35 km from north to south in central Umbria. The project was made in t
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 [...]

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