Todi

The name Todi probably comes from the Etruscan tular, or border, which indicates its position on the frontier between Etruria and Umbria, divided by the Umbrian Tiber River which still today runs at the base of the hill upon which Todi was built. It’s location at the centre of the region, the magnificent surrounding countryside and the many architectural and artistic gems dating to the Middle Ages, an era between the XIII and XIV century when Todi was a free city, all contribute to the worldwide fame this city earned several years ago for its extraordinary liveability. Todi is part of, and how could it not be, the “slow city” circuit. This association is open to cities which strive to follow a more natural clock, a less frenetic one than is usually imposed by modern life and one which has helped craft the image the city can now boast. The historical centre of Todi, from which gorgeous vistas open up over the lush Umbrian countryside, is graced by an enchanting Piazza del Popolo, home to the Duomo, which was built between the XII and XIV centuries, and three splendid palazzos: Palazzo del Popolo and Palazzo del Podestà, both of which were built in a Lombard Gothic style and date to the XIII century, and the Palazzo dei Priori (XIV century), which boasts a trapezoidal tower, renaissance windows and a large bronze eagle (1339), the symbol of the city. There are two other architectural masterpieces worth noting: the Franciscan church of S. Fortunato and the renaissance church of S. Maria della Consolazione. The former, built between 1292 and 1436, has a monumental staircase, arched doors and houses the tomb of the mystical poet Jacopone and frescoes by Andrea Polinori. Construction on the latter began in 1508 and was finished in 1607 with a stupendous cupola attributed to Bramante but which was actually built by the architects Vignola, Peruzzi, Scalza and others.

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