The Basilica-Cathedral (officially the Church of St. Maria Annunziata) dominates the splendid Piazza del Popolo in the center of town. It was built in the 11th century on the site where a Roman temple built in 555 (probably dedicated to Apollo) originally stood. Inside this church are beautiful frescoes, paintings and stained glass windows.
San Fortunato is a Palaeo-Christian temple (7th century) of which two lion sculptures on the entrance portal remain. In the lower level it is possible to visit the tumb of S.Fortunato and the grave of Jacopone. From the top of the curch bell tower it is possible to admire a beautiful view of the umbrian landscape.
Todi is surrounded by three more or less complete concentric walls: the outermost is medieval, the middle wall is Roman, and the innermost is recognizable as partly Etruscan. Sights include also a colossal Roman niched substructure of uncertain purpose (the Nicchioni). Exactly what they are, remains a matter of mystery and hypothesis.
A large cistern is located under the west side of Piazza del Popolo. The construction is made up of 12 rectangular areas. The enviroments are communicating through the use of arch passages and represent one or more opening from which water could be extracted.
With its large dimension the monumental cistern extends below the initial part of Via del Monte and continues below Via della Valle Inferiore and Via Mazzini.
The cistern represents one of the extremely rich underground patrimony of the city: more than 5 km of tunnels and galleries, more than 30 tanks, pre-Roman, Roman and Medieval, 500 wells.
The entire system dates back to the 1st century B.C.
The Basilica-Cathedral (officially the Church of St. Maria Annunziata) dominates the town square in the center of town. It was built in the 11th century on the site where a temple built in 555 originally stood. Inside this church are beautiful frescoes, paintings and stained glass windows.
Just off of Piazza del Popolo is Piazza Garibaldi, which overlooks the countryside. A statue of Garibaldi sits in the middle.
Todi, just like other towns, has a main drag that is very popular at night. It runs along one end of Piazza del Popolo, turns and runs down one side of Piazza Garibaldi.
This main drag is an active place at night. (Kind of reminded me of "American Graffiti", except not set in Modesto, California.) There is a constant stream of auto traffic, which is surprising, given how sleepy the town is in the mid-afternoon. EVERYONE gets into the act. One evening, as we were eating our gelato, a station wagonful of priests sped on by, carousing and having a good ol' time.
The Palazzo del Capitano was built in 1293 in gothic style and ornamental designs that reminded me of Venice. The Palazzo used to be the seat of head honcho of Todi - the Podesta. The Podesta served a one year term and had to swear he would administer the town wisely and honestly.
Today, the Palazzo has an ATM machine on the ground floor. The Podesta would probably like knowing that his Palazzo is now used to dispense money to the good citizens and visitors of Todi.
The second church we visited was the Temple of St. Fortunato. St. Fortunato was built in the 1400s and is a Gothic style church. It sits at the highest point in Todi, and you'll get a fair amount of exercise climbing the stairs to the church.
Unfortunately, the facade of Fortunato was never finished due to lack of funding during the many city-state squabbles of the 15th century (sounds like 21st century California) and the death of the master architect, Giavonni da Santuccio in 1458. Neverthless, the exterior, however unfinished it may be, is quite striking.
This is another view of Piazza del Popolo from the top of the steps of the Basilica-Cathedral. The Palazzo dei Priori stands in the backround. This palace, built in 1334, served as the residence and meeting place of the top bananas in Todi.
During the middle ages the Piazza del Popolo was twice as big as it is today. During the Rennaissance, structures encroached more and more on the spacious central town square.
You could say that Todi has suffered from its own form of urban sprawl. Today we like to use environmental euphemisms and call it "infill."
Near the center of town, just off the Piazza del Popolo, is the Teatro Comunale designed in 1876 by architect Carlo Gatteschi from Arezzo. The theatre hosts theatrical performances and concerts. If you have the opportunity, attend a performance so you can see the interior. It is quite magnificent and ornate.
The Piazza del Popolo is the main town square in the center of town and at the top of this hill town. At the edges of the square are outdoor cafes, gelato places, upscale shops, ATM machines and, or course, a church.
The church in the background is the Basilica-Cathedral that dates back to the 11th century.
This picture was taken mid-day in July. As you can see, Todi does not suffer from throngs of tourists like other Italian cities. That is one of the many reasons why a week in Todi was the perfect Italian vacation.
Fortunately, at Fortunato we did not intrude on anyone's mass, so we could enjoy the peaceful interior of the church to our heart's content.
The interior of this Todi church is true gothic style, with its cross-vault ceiling supported by six marble columns.
Note the austere interior. There was none of the ornate murals, gilded frescoes, bas-reliefs or marble floors that we saw in the Roman, Florentine or Sienese churches. The starkness of this interior, however, simply emphasizes the beauty of the architectural lines.
Several frescoes are contained in the small chapels along the sides of the sides of the temple. They date back to the 15th century; some have been better preserved than others.
The beautiful Temple of Santa Maria Delle Consolazione sits just outside the city walls at the southwest corner of the town. This striking church has 5 domes and was built between 1509 and 1607.
The inside is very beautiful, but we did not stay long. When we arrived, a church service was being held and I always feel a bit odd doing the tourist thing during a real live service.
We left shortly after arriving. Todi has no shortage of churches, so odds were we'd eventually find some church that was sans service.
Piazza Vittorio Emanuele is one of the most beautiful piazzas of Italy, and it's delimited by some important palaces like: Priori's Palace, Popolo's Palace and Capitano's Palace, and, at the bottom of the piazza, on a flight of steps, the Cathedral.