Favorite thing: acopo de’ Benedetti, known as Jacopone of Todi, was born in 1236 into a noble family. After becoming a successful lawyer he gave up leading a worldly lifestyle at 32, when the sudden tragic death of his wife upset his life. The shock due to the loss and the discovery of a haircloth she used to wear to mortify her flesh, drove him to start a new religious life and later to join the Franciscan order: in particular, he entered the radical faction, preaching absolute poverty and penitence. He got rid of anything wordly he had, body and soul commodities, choosing abstinence from food, wakefulness, solitary life and any kind of activity mortifying his flesh.
Todi is about 90 minutes north of Rome, 2 hours south of Florence, 30 minutes east of Orvieto, 30 minutes south of Perugia.
Fondest memory: The wonderfully charming towns of Perugia, Assisi, Spello, Bevagna, Montefalco, Spoleto, Trevi, Deruta and Orvieto are all within a relatively short drive.
The terra cotta, mustard, salmon and beige colors of the buildings in Todi are very pleasing to the eye, and so very Mediterranean.
I've referred to Todi as being medieval on my pages, but the settlement of Todi is actually quite older than that. Todi was founded by the Umbrians in 2700 B.C, but almost nothing remains of that era. Then along came the Estruscans and Romans, who built many significant structures in the 3rd century B.C., but most of that is all gone, too. Then after the fall of the Roman empire, the town was sacked repeatedly by the Goths, Greeks and Lombards.
The good citizens of Todi, undaunted, just kept rebuilding. Most of the earliest structures in Todi still standing date back to the 15th century.
Being situated at the top of a hill, Todi offers incredible views. I found the contrast of the golden alfalfa fields, the deep green sunflower fields, the vineyards and the silver green olive groves to be a stunning sight.
The Umbrian fields are a remarkable contrast to the US farms. Most of our farms in the US are owned by massive corporations, and so much of the food is mass produced. In the US, we are used to huge endless fields that mass produce only one crop.
In Umbria, the farm scene is quite different. I loved looking at the little plots of land growing different crops.
One side of Piazza Garibaldi overlooks the Umbrian countryside, making this a perfect spot for photo ops.
Fondest memory: Here are my daughter and son, who love to travel as much as their parents do.