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Todi (Perugia province)

A town of central Umbria: 42°47N, 12°24E. Altitude: 410 m. Population in 2008: 17,283.

[image ALT: A view of a largish town dribbling down over a two-humped hill. It is Todi, Umbria (central Italy).]

Todi from the west. The steepled building is S. Fortunato on the highest point of the hill (the city's official 410 m altitude); the domed building is S. Maria della Consolazione.
For a different view from several miles away, see my page for the frazione of Pontecuti.

Todi is a small, prosperous and rather inward-looking town perched on a crest in the Tiber valley 36 km south of Perugia and 38 km north of Terni. Always a defensive stronghold, Todi retains three concentric sets of walls. The outer walls are the most recent, of course: they're medieval. The middle walls are older: they're Roman. The innermost wall is older still: Etruscan (at least in part).

For a more formal and comprehensive introduction to the city's history and monuments, see the article Todi from the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica; for my own personal take —


[image ALT: the Piazza]

The center of Todi is the Piazza del Popolo, one of the most thoroughly medieval outdoor spaces in Italy, often used for filming period movies. Church and State are both represented by atmospheric buildings of the late Middle Ages: the former by the Duomo of pink stone overlooking the square from the top of its impressive staircase; the latter by the Palazzo del Popolo, the decoratively battlemented Palazzo del Capitano and the Palazzo dei Priori with its 14c bronze eagle, the first two of these Palazzi you see in the watercolor to the left.


[image ALT: zzz. It is zzz in Todi in Umbria (central Italy).]

[ 3/31/09: 4 pages, 18 churches, 27 photos ]

Like most of the other large towns of Umbria, Todi has accumulated some good churches. A Churches of Todi index page for now offers a few large photos sampling some of the main ones, both in town and in the rural territory of the comune (click on those thumbnails); two of them are now covered in some detail, though, and this is where the other detailed sites will eventually be showing up.


[image ALT: Four monumental stone arches. They are the Nicchioni, a Roman substructure in Todi, Umbria (central Italy).]

[ 1 page, 5 photos ]

Todi seems to have been very efficient in cannibalizing the Etruscan and Roman monuments of its past, except for the more utilitarian structures, and chief among them its walls and gates. I'll probably get around to expanding this site to cover them, but have started instead with the Nicchioni, sometimes called the "Foro Romano": not a Roman forum, but their exact function is uncertain.

I lived in Todi for two months in 1994, and have visited several times since. I like Todi, and you would expect me to have a proper website on the town; the reason I don't, paradoxically, is that it was my introduction to Umbria: not as good a camera then as I have now, scanning from prints rather than negatives as I now do, and a long slow learning curve in writing HTML, so that my first pages are not adequate. I'm finally getting around to repairing these deficiencies.

In the meanwhile, you will almost certainly find it useful to read my diary for those two months (all of it online), in which I covered the town and its surrounding area rather thoroughly on foot. For more formal stuff, see the websites in the navigation bar at the bottom of this page.

Frazioni

For historical reasons, Todi is one of the larger comuni in Umbria, and has carried with it from its aggressive Middle Ages into modern times a long list of subject towns and hamlets. Almost all these places are very small, a few hundred inhabitants if that; as elsewhere in Italy, those that have a certain administrative identity of their own are frazioni of the comune (singular: frazione, literally a "fraction"): a complete list of them follows. Because I lived in Todi for two months and walked all around it, I've been to almost all of them, and this site has information on them: in some cases pretty marginal, but sometimes on the contrary rather detailed, even including one or more photographs. For now, links are usually to my diary; they may also contain further links — as usual on my site, don't forget to check the navigation bar at the bottom of the page.

Asproli • Cacciano •  Camerata • Canonica •  Casemascie • Cecanibbi • Chioano • Colvalenza •  Crocefisso • Cordigliano • Duesanti • Ficareto • Fiore • Frontignano • Ilci • Izzalini •  Loreto •  Lorgnano • Montemolino • Montenero • Monticello • Pantalla • Pesciano • Petroro •  Pian di Porto •  Pian di San Martino • Pontecuti •  Ponte Rio •  Ponte Rio Stazione • Porchiano • Quadro • Ripaioli • Romazzano •  Rosceto •  S. Damiano • Torre Ceccona • Torre Gentile • Vasciano

"Todi Castle"

The Web presence of an enterprising hotelier, combined with the occasional mail I get, has made this note necessary: there is no castle in Todi, although a castle there once was, the slight remains of which can be seen in the park of the Rocca behind S. Fortunato.

All around the city, however, the landscape positively bristles with fortified hamlets, small castles and watch-towers, especially to the south toward archrival Terni, where they are more frequent than in any other part of Umbria and add greatly to the charm of the region. Among these castles, one is an agriturismo running by the moniker "Todi Castle" or "Castello di Todi"; like many rural properties in the area, it has been attractively rehabbed as a tourist lodging — but it has no historical title to the name, and is not in Todi, nor even within the comune: it is quite some distance away from Todi, at Capecchio, in the township of Baschi.


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Page updated: 23 Dec 12