Hotel TodiThere is a legend which tells of the founding of Todi. It says that the city was built so high (418 meters above sea level) because an eagle, while construction had already already begun along the river, indicated the highest point of the hill on the tablecloth on which the workers were eating. The inhabitants of the valley took this as a sign and decided for the town to be built on the hill. History, rather, tells that Todi was built by the Umbri between the V and VII centuries BCE, which is when the first walls were constructed.
In the first century BCE Todi became a Roman Municipality and there are still traces of its Roman existence like the commanding Cisterne Romane, over 5 km of tunnels, over 30 preRoman, Roman and medieval cisterns and 500 wells from various epochs which make up the rich subterranean heritage of the city.
After the Barbaric Invasions and the Gothic War (535553), Todi was annexed, with the rest of Italy, to the Byzantine Empire. It would remain under eastern Roman influence even after the invasion of the Longobards and be incorporated, along with Perugia and other Umbrian cities, in the socalled Byzantine corridor. During the Middle Ages it became a free city, then a signory, finally becoming part of the Papal States, signalling the beginning of a long and continuous decline.
Thanks to Angelo Cesi, bishop of Todi from 1566 to 1572, the city began a period of renewal. In fact, under Cesi’s leadership important architectural and urbanistic works were undertaken, such as the construction of the Fontana della Rua or Cesia, the Church of the Crucifix and the Temple of Consolation.
Among the most beautiful monuments of Todi is certainly Piazza del Popolo, one of the most representative piazzas in Italy of the era of the Municipalities. The piazza is surrounded by magnificent buildings like the Palazzo del Capitano with its Pinacoteca Comunale, and Palazzo del Popolo, the oldest public building in the piazza and the seat of the Municipality.
The Duomo dell’Annunziata is one of the most important churches in Umbria and houses prized frescoes by the painter Ferraù da Faenza. The tempio di Santa Maria della Consolazione, located outside the walls, is a grandiose renaissance church most likely built by Bramante.
With regard to events, among the most noteworthy are the Todi Festival, an annual review of theater, dance, music, visual art and literature which takes place between the end of August and the beginning of September, and Todifiorita, a flower fair in May.
Todi is also home to one of the oldest and most prestigious antiques fairs in the world, Rassegna Antiquaria d’Italia, characterized by its variety and the quality of its traders, enhanced by the refined surroundings of Todi’s prestigious historic center.