ISOLA Martana

Martana Island

Martana is the smaller of the two islands of Lake Bolsena and is located in the direction of the northern post of the basins within the municipality of Marta. The island has a particular crescent shape and its small, typically medieval village is clearly visible. Over the years, the historic center has been abandoned and today the island is completely uninhabited. The locality is linked to the sad story of Amalasunta, daughter of Theodoric and queen of the Ostrogoths, who was killed here in 584 by order of her second husband and cousin Theodato. Many claim that a treasure that belonged to the slain sovereign is hidden on the island of Martana.

Martana Island photo gallery

History of Martana Island

Martana is rich in millenary history and illustrious memories. According to scholars in 303 AD under Diocletian the martyrdom of Christina, daughter of Urbano prefect of Volsinii (today’s Bolsena) took place on the island. The girl was first relegated and held captive in a tower by order of her father and then killed. The girl’s body was first buried in the catacombs of Bolsena and then 410 AD it was again brought back to the island to save it from the profanations of the Lombards. In 1084 during the pontificate of Gregory VII, Countess Matilde di Canossa went to Martana to recover the remains of S. Cristina and transfer them back to Bolsena where a church was built in her honor. The Martana island was the scene of the assassination of Amalasunta, queen of the Goths, daughter of Theodoric. The woman was first held prisoner and then made to kill by her husband Theodato. Its end was used as a pretext by the Emperor Justinian to unleash the Gothic war and move his troops to conquer Italy.