The guide book on Umbria said that the Piazza del Popolo in Todi is considered one of the most beautiful squares in Italy. It seemed to be a perfectly good reason to visit this hilltop town.
Not knowing the layout of the town, we parked at the bottom the hill and searched for a way to the top on foot. The very considerate people of Todi have provided a couple of ways of heading up to the town centre. There is a pretty walking path.
But, even better, there is a tiny funicular to whisk you to the top…for free.
Much better than trudging all the way up. It is a steep hill.
The views from the beautiful park at the top are spectacular. The gorgeous Umbrian landscape rolls out for miles in all directions.
Todi has cute, narrow, winding streets like many of Italy’s ancient towns, making it fun to explore.
Originally Etruscan, then Roman, it became an independent city state in the middle ages when most of the important buildings were built. We set off to find Piazzo del Popolo.
The Duomo (above) dates from the 12th century. I loved the beautiful carved wooden doors.
At the other end of the square are the Palazzo dei Priori with its 14th century tower, Palazzo del Popolo and the Palazzo del Capitano, distinguished by a broad staircase.
Nearby Piazza Garibaldi offers magnificent views over the late summer countryside.
According to legend an eagle indicated the hill that Todi was to be built on, and the eagle became its coat of arms. Eagles are well represented in the town, impressively so in a huge fountain we came upon.
The streets of Todi offer the usual delights, especially in the tiny back streets off the main piazzas.
The church of San Fortunato was begun in the 13th century, and the Gothic facade was completed in the 15th century.
The doorway is particularly lovely with its delicately carved colonnettes.
The interior is stunning as well. There are many old frescoes, some attributed to Giotto.
We didn’t eat in Todi, but we did spot this cute restaurant at the entrance to town that might need further investigation.
Soon it was time to head back down the hill and on to the next hilltop Italian town…….all in the name of research, of course.