Massa Martana (near the well attested ancient site of the Vicus ad Martis Tudertium on the Via Flaminia) is an ancient Italian town and comune in the Monti Martani mountain range in the province of Perugia (Umbria). It is 10 km N of Acquasparta, 18 km N of San Gemini and 32 km N of Narni; 14 km S of Bastardo and 27 km S of Bevagna. As of the 2003 census, the town had 3558 inhabitants.
It is one of the classic walled towns of central Italy, and in its main gate can be seen several ancient inscriptions, including a Roman one of some interest. The modern town has spread northwards along the road.
The territory of the commune includes three of Umbria's best Romanesque churches, each built in part of Roman stone: the abbeys of S. Fidenzio, of S. Maria in Pantano and of S. Faustino. The medieval abbey church of S. Maria in Viepri should also be mentioned, as well as the modern shrine at Colvalenza (6 km southwest), which draws busloads of pilgrims.
The buildings of the walled town suffered major damage in an earthquake on May 12 1997, a precursor of the 1997 earthquake which damaged much of Umbria, including the Basilica and city of Assisi. The Commune celebrated the completion of restoration works and the reopening of the old town in August 2006, ten years after the earthquake.
Massa Martana town has an annual ice-cream festival ("sagra del gelato") in early August each year. Similar food festivals are celebrated in summer months in a number of surrounding villages and hamlets within the commune, including Colpetrazzo and Villa San Faustino.
Thayer's Gazetteer of Umbria
(The text of this article is partly based on the article in Bill Thayer's Gazetteer of Italy, by permission.)