The town

Marta is a small and quiet town with a population of 3000 in the province of Viterbo, precisely in the north, in the heights of Tuscany, on the southern bank of the lake of Bolsena. The town is surrounded by the green Volsin Mountains, covered in forests. There is a Mediterranean climate with hot summers which are regulated by the presence of lake Bolsena. Some historians link the origins of Marta back to the Phonecian period who named the town Marath, for others, the town’s origins go back to the Etruscan period. During the middle ages untill its annexation to the new kingdom of Italy, Marta was at the heart of rivalries between large dynastic families and state neighbours.

The island Martana with the island Bisentina, is one of the two islands in the lake of Bolsena which gained its name beacause it’s situated in front of the town of Marta of which the island is a part of. The island is well know for being the place where Amalasonte, the Queen of the Ostrogoths in 535 AD, daughter of Theodoric, was exiled and executed at the hands of her cousin and husband
Teodat. This murder served the Emperor Justinian as pretext for the intervention into the Ostrogothic affairs and the provocation of the Gothic wars in Europe.

Situated in the middle of a fascinating area, the historical and medieval centre of the town offers and
unobstructed view of the lake. The stone houses and small alleys offer spectacular and evocative views to visitors. The highest point of the medieval town is overlooked by the clock tower, standing 21 metres tall and constructed by Pope Urbain IV in 1260.The geographical placing of Marta is in fact an ideal base for excursions around the numerous geographical sites of Umbrian, Tuscany and Latium (Orvieto, Mount Rufeno Nature Reserve, Mount Amiata, Sienne, the Maremme and the thermae of Saturnia, the Argentario, Civita Bagnoregio, Viterbe, etc). Also, during the summer months, Marta offers beautiful sandy beaches aand crystalline waters, which invites you in for a swim into the lake.

 

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