The Martana Anti-Aircraft Shelter, located in the historic town center, in via Bigini, is the largest anti-aircraft shelter built in Massa, capable of housing thousands of people.
It was built in about a year's work between 1942 and 1943 by Venetian miners from Belluno. After the order to displace the town issued in September 1944 by the German military command, the shelter was occupied by Nazi troops who installed field kitchens there by quartering their own soldiers engaged in guarding the Gothic Line.
Consisting of a large tunnel carved into the rock 450 meters long, the shelter has three entrances. On the vault of the gallery artificial openings served as ventilation chimneys so as to ensure a constant exchange of air inside the shelter.
After the war, the shelter was closed for sixty years, only to be recovered in 2006 for educational and historical purposes. It is currently granted under management to the Sancio Pancia Cultural Association, which is in charge of openings, guided tours, set-up and organization of cultural events. It has been the venue for exhibitions, theatrical performances, concerts and book presentations.
Retracing the cold, spooky tunnels of the shelter is a unique opportunity to understand the state of mind in which the population lived during air raid warnings; the pictures and the video interviews that are projected at the beginning of the tour recount the experience of war from those who experienced it personally; touching are the guide's stories, which will tell you all about the manner in which the citizens of Massa flocked inside the shelter, after being alerted by the frightening sound of the siren, at all hours of the day and night.