medieval walls and Roman ruins, Gothic churches and palaces of the thirteenth century, school of Giotto paintings and frescoes, antique shops, a simple gastronomy and intense flavors. Along the Tiber Valley Media, in the province of Perugia, Todi is located, a destination not to be missed if you want to spend a weekend of culture and good food. In this two-day itinerary, we went to discover this Umbrian town whose name derives from the ancient term Etruscan “Tute”, what does it mean “border”. Frontier City, then, but also hinge between the Etruscan-Italic world and what transappenninico. Its strategic position clearly, on the top of a hill, He contributed to its great development first in Roman times, when it was declared a colony; afterwards, It became an important outpost of Christianity and one of oldest dioceses of Italy. In the thirteenth century, He experienced a great architectural development, with the construction of abbeys, monasteries, public buildings and episcopal palaces, fortifications, villas and castles (of all to Montenero). Todi became a center of power that rivaled the powerful Orvieto. The city of Todi, at that time, He grew to about 35,000 inhabitants. After Assisi, It was one of the most important venues of Italian Franciscan friars. The proof is in the great church of San Fortunato, from whose tower you can enjoy one of the most beautiful views across the Tiber Valley. All of this magnitude is largely intact and can still be visited today.
To find the best Todi, the advice is from Porta Orvietana, where there is a large parking lot for cars, from where the funicular, free and in just two minutes, It takes visitors to the Gardens Oberdan. Start here your itinerary, because from here you can take a first look at Ward Nidola, where they immediately notice the Bishop's Palace and the Cathedral of Santa Maria Annunziata. This is the viewpoint that many artists chose to portray Tod, especially in good stagionei. Is, if you turn your gaze to the north, a few kilometers away, you can see on a hill the small medieval village of Montecastello Vibio and, in the distance, the city of Perugia.
THE CHURCH OF SAN FORTUNATO – Is’ one of the largest churches of Umbria and is dedicated to San Fortunato, Bishop of Todi in the sixth century, patron and protector of the city. It is accessed via an impressive staircase. The rich late Gothic portal is to be discovered, with a wide symbolism that is the eternal struggle between good and evil. This property is represented by the vine and bunches of grapes, while evil is represented by the fig tree, plant that bears fruit even if it is not cultivated. Do not miss the climb to the majestic bell tower, visited at a cost of 2 € (the steps to take are 150), which offers the best view over the town and its surroundings. On either side of this church is a monument (not beautiful) dedicated to Jacopone, considered one of the greatest Italian poets of the Middle Ages.
WHERE TO EAT: VINERIA SAN FORTURNATO – In a prime location, halfway up the stairs leading to the Church of San Fortunato, You can find the Vineria San Fortunato. In season, sit outside, and be sure that the few dishes on the menu are based on extensive research of the quality of raw materials. In addition, There is an extensive wine list, including a good selection of bubbles, since the Champagne, up to the great red wines of Umbria and throughout Italy. The dishes are strictly seasonal and freshly prepared. At lunch, there is a menu of the day with five starters, three first, four seconds and sweets. Excellent quality-price relation. The sausages come from David Salumi San Venanzo, Dairy cheese from Montecristo. We recommend that you simply must try the mixed platter of meats and cheeses (from 10 to 16 euro with generous portions) served with the typical “torta al testo”. Very good the cheese and pepper tagliatelle with broad beans and bacon (10 euro), scrambled eggs with asparagus (8 euro) and lamb in the pan with artichokes (12 euros). For the rest, the menu features appetizers between 8 and 10 Euros, first 10 seconds euro and between 10 and 15 €. Homemade desserts to 5 euro, including cheesecake and tiramisu.
PIAZZA DEL POPOLO – It is probably one of the most beautiful squares of Umbria. A large area of Roman origin, which is overlooked by the Cathedral simultaneously, the Palace of the People, the captain's Palace (Gothic) and the Palazzo dei Priori (built between 1330 and 1370) where you can see the symbol of the city: an eagle that, with outspread wings, supporting a drape between the claws). Four medieval jewels, beneath, preserve the huge Roman cisterns, 80 meters long (that you can visit accompanied by local tour guides). A historic core anciently important that, to be defended in the best, It was surrounded between the years 1209 and 1244 by a third ring of defensive walls, on which there are a total of ten input ports. Among the Etruscan-Roman walls and medieval walls (the whole circle is virtually intact) Todi there are ten of the entrances to the city.
CATHEDRAL OF SANTA MARIA ANNUNZIATA – The Santa Maria Annunziata Cathedral complete with its squared bulk of the plan's main square Todi, Piazza del Popolo. A large portal with a pointed arch welcomes you in this temple, which it is accessed through a large staircase 18 meters composed of thirty-three steps, as the years of Christ. After this beautiful wooden portal, hit by two lightning and rebuilt in 1639, It leads to the three inner aisles, illuminated through the large rose window of the main facade and dominated by the Last Judgment painted by Ferraù Fenzoni in 1596. The interior is in the Romanesque style, with many changes. Inside the apse there is a wooden crucifix of 1200 and a wooden choir 1500.
WHERE TO EAT: ICE CREAM KISS MILK – Always in Piazza del Popolo, to the left of the Cathedral, find the ice cream shop “Milk kiss”. In this small room, Federico Valerio Rosatelli and move at ease, offering customers (affordable hugely popular) a well-made ice cream, with the right blend, the correct balances, no sugar excesses. Try the classic flavors of hazelnut and pistachio, but also some special taste like pineapple and basil. Maybe you seated at tables overlooking the square (and there is no charge if you sit outside).
THE HISTORICAL CENTER AND THE TRACES OF ROMAN – The old town of Todi you visit a certain speed, but be careful to measure out the energy, because the roads are great descents but steep climbs. From Piazza del Popolo, through the scenic Piazza Garibaldi (who stayed in Todi in July 1849 and which is dedicated a statue), you can take Corso Cavour and see the Fonte Cesia (named by Bishop Angelo Cesi and is also called “Rua Fonte”), where you can stop to taste the pastry and ice cream Pianegiani. After crossing the Porta Marzia, you get to the Old Market Square, where are the big “Roman niches”, structures built by the Romans in the first century BC, as defensive walls of the city. Also in the district of San Silvestro, fulcrum of the craft workshops of woodworking, do not miss the church of San Carlo (that prior to 1632 it was called the Church of St. Hilary), Lombard-Romanesque style. little distant, Source also Scannabecco, dating from the thirteenth century, with its seven pillars decorated, where once they watered the horses of the militia of the city of Todi. Continue your journey to Porta Perugina, among the most beautiful of Todi, one of the doors and best preserved in the city, as it is still incorporated in the ramparts built in the mid-sixteenth century.
In Todi, do not limit yourself just to admire the great monuments or large squares. Take a walk, aimlessly, among the many alleys that open in descent and ascent. You'll find quiet corners, views of the valleys and many steps to climb. Is, obtaining transportation ticket to the tourist office in Piazza del Popolo, visit the monastery of Lucrezie, from whose terrace you can enjoy a wonderful view of the Umbrian countryside.
OUTSIDE THE WALLS, SANTA MARIA CONSOLATION – Just outside the medieval walls, He founded the Temple of Our Lady of Consolation. Built between 1508 and 1607, the church is an important example of Renaissance architecture of a Greek cross. The project was built by the famous architect Donato Bramante (first designer of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome), but in a hundred years of construction it has been many architects involved in its implementation. The photo you see was not made by us because the church had external scaffolding for restoration work.
WHAT TO BUY – matter, ceramics and good food are the souvenirs that I would bring home from Todi. On one side of Piazza of the people is the Salsamenteria Principles, one of the best Todi, where you can buy some Umbrian specialties: truffles in season, the “strangozzi” he “umbricelli” (both of homemade pasta formats similar to spaghetti, square cross-section the first and the second circular section), legumes, dry porcini mushrooms, extra virgin olive oil #8217 d &;, jams, honey, meats and cheeses. Always, Todi is considered a city that communicates with the art and craft. Antique shops, art exhibitions and workshops are in the town center and there are beautiful ancient pottery, Colored cloth or small antiques for fans of the genre. Todi is also music. Do not miss a visit to the Municipal Theater, architect Carlo Gatteschi. In the Sixties and Seventies, Todi and its beauties were chosen as a location for major films, among which “Romanoff and Juliet” in Peter Ustinov, “For favors received” Nino Manfredi. Is, Why not, you might decide to drop in a very old barber to adjust your hairstyle.
WHAT TO BUY: THE DAIRY MONTECRISTO – In the small hamlet of Pian di Porto (locations Campetta), the Dairy Montecristo is a destination for lovers of cheese. People come here to buy quality handmade productions. The dairy is situated within the grounds of the Institute of Agricultural Technical properties of Todi and nacuqe precisely at the initiative of one of his students, Riccardo Marconi. Today transforms all types of milk: ovine, bovine, goat and buffalo. The dairy uses no preservatives, or dyes. And in the long bar, you can find over sixty different types of cheese: mozzarella, Braid, caciotta, mozzarella cheese, burrata, pecorino fresco, blue cheese and a long maturation. At the dairy farm Montecristo, there are also the typical meats of Norcia and San Venanzo, including the famous “saddle” San Venanzo, obtained from the processing of the loin, and this included part of the back bacon. A product trademarked, produced by David Salumi.
WHERE TO STAY AND WHERE TO EAT: ROCCAFIORE RESORT – Nestled in the countryside, on a hill overlooking the town of Todi, the Roccafiore Country Chic Resort It is both spa, restaurant, winery and organic farm. Family owned Baccarelli (originally from Todi), the resort is renovated from an ancient Umbrian farmhouse and faithfully respects the architectural style, respecting the country atmosphere that was to characterize the place restored today. Outdoor pool with views of Todi and a nice spa is one of the pluses of this structure in the green. Prices per room start at around € 140 per night, but the Resort offers affordable complete packages including tasting, winery tours, jeep tours, relax in the spa. And not only the structure is beautiful, peaceful and relaxing, but you can also eat well: Fiorfiore in the restaurant of Abruzzo Carlo Grimaldi origin chef recipes ranging from traditional to modern ones, always well presented, and based mostly on organic products company (from farro with artichokes, from meats with herbs, extra virgin olive oil from the fruit through the walls sausages, products with meat livestock owned) or local suppliers. On the table, Also the wines of the Roccafiore wine cellar and a wide selection of labels from Italy and the world. From appetizer to dessert, the average cost is between 40 and 50 €.
TRIP OUT OF TOWN, CASTLE OF MONTE VIBIO – Just fifteen minutes drive from Todi, through a beautiful countryside, worth visiting the small medieval town of Monte Castello di Vibio. Surrounded by a circle of walls intact, This small town offers some beautiful views of the alleys and cobbled streets. Between arch and a porch it seems to be still in the Middle Ages. Visit the Church of Santa Illuminata, the bell tower with the War Memorial, Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II, with a small bar from which outdoor tables you can admire the eternal enemy of Monte Castello, The town of Todi.
Not to be missed, the guided tour so passionate and engaging (the small fee of 5 Euros which will be donated to the maintenance of the structure) Teatro della Concordia, pride of the local inhabitants, one of the smallest theaters in the world, with just 99 seats of which 37 are in the stalls. Built during the Napoleonic era with the help of nine local noble families, who wanted to build it as a symbol of their power (9 9 stages for households using them rotate, They saw that they had put the same share to build it) the theater fell into disuse until the fifties and sixties, It was restored in 1981 and is now owned by the City.
(visited in April 2018)