The Abbey of Sant'Angelo in Massa
In the stretch of the Via Flaminia between Taizzano and Visciano, small villages in the Narni area, an abbey was built in the 10th century and was dedicated to Sant'Angelo and San Benedetto. In that same place in Roman times there was a villa whose ownership was established through some inscriptions found nearby. In 1037 the abbey was donated to that of Farfa with a written document that records the date of foundation of the monastery, the name of which changed in the following years, remaining in honor of Sant’Angelo only. Managed under a commendam rule from the second half of the 16th century, it played an important role in the field of scientific studies in the early decades of the 17th century for the activities carried out by the Academy established by the commendatory abbot Romolo Cesi, bishop of Narni. This was one of the major centre of study and scientific research of the time, which had laboratories, a botanical garden, an astronomical observatory, a library with a large number of volumes and even a printery. To house the Academy, the buildings of the monastic complex underwent substantial changes that altered the original structure. Abbot Cesi also had the church renovated, in which two side chapels were built, of which you can admire the frescoes by the painter Michelangelo Braidi (late 16th century). The access portal is located on the side wall - the orientation of the building is not the original one – and dates from the Renaissance period, while the decoration with marble and stone pieces still present in some parts, including the facade, is older. The interior consists of three naves and preserves interesting artworks such as the canvas with St. Michael the Archangel placed above the altar, the frescos "Episodes from the life of the Madonna" in the left chapel-and the "Nativity" and "Passion of Christ"- in the other chapel- . The dome of the first is frescoed with the "Glory of the Madonna crowned by the Eternal Father and the Son in the midst of Angels".