The lovely town of Todi is nestled in Umbria’s gentle countryside, a short drive away from the region’s most important cities – such as Perugia, Assisi, Spello, Orvieto and Gubbio.
According to an ancient local legend, Todi was founded by the Veii-Umbri tribe in a place indicated by an eagle: the bird stole their tablecloth while they were eating, and then dropped it on a hilltop behind them. This was seen as a sign from the heavens, and the leader of the expedition – Tudero – had his men build the city walls in that spot.
Historical Todi was founded by the ancient Italic people of the Umbri, in the 8th-7th century BC. Throughout its history, Todi was ruled by different powers, including Rome, Byzantium, and the Church. During the Middle Ages, it remained a free township and then a lordship. The town has remained unchanged since Medieval times, as evidenced by a 1633 print by Giacomo Lauro.
Todi is the birthplace of the Franciscan poet Jacopone da Todi, who is buried in a special crypt in the church of S. Fortunato. Other local sights include a number of beautiful medieval monuments such as the Duomo (Cathedral), Palazzo del Capitano, Palazzo del Priore and Palazzo del Popolo.
A stroll along Todi’s charming piazze and dense labyrinth of alleyways will mesmerize you: you will discover its hidden architectural features, works of art, and breathtaking views of the Tiber Valley below.
Local Food & Wine
Todi’s traditional cuisine is characterized by simplicity. Few essential ingredients, almost all of which come directly from the earth, reflect the local rural roots: mushrooms, asparagus, wild aromatic herbs, black and white truffles.
In Todi – as all over Umbria – traditional preparations of meat date back to ancient times. For example, the ancient recipe of skewer roasting has remained almost intact since the bountiful medieval banquets.
Some of the most typical dishes served in Todi are Pappardelle Pasta with Wild Boar Sauce, Spaghetti with Wild Asparagus, and Tagliatelle with Porcini Mushrooms. You can find these and more traditional recipes here.
Umbria is also a land of excellent wines, which you can discover with foodie itineraries along the four Wine Routes: the Sagrantino Route around Montefalco; the Trasimeno Hills Wine Route; the Etruscan-Roman Wines Route; and the Cantico Wines Route.
Todi is located on the Cantico Wine Route, home to great wines such as the DOCG Torgiano Rosso Riserva, and the DOC labels of origin: Assisi, Torgiano, Colli Martani, Colli Perugini and Grechetto di Todi. Grechetto is a white Italian wine grape variety of Greek origins; it is planted throughout central Italy, but particularly in Umbria where it gets the Denominazione di origine controllata (DOC) label.
Umbria’s extra-virgin olive oil with the guaranteed DOP origin label, is another product of the local culinary excellence and tradition.
Learn Italian and enjoy a Foodie Experience in Todi
What better way to explore a territory than to learn the language and interact with the locals? It is a one-of-a-kind experience that allows you to learn about and understand local history, culture, lifestyle and cuisine in an authentic way.
Studiainitalia, an accredited agency specialized in cultural and creative tourism in Italy, offers Italian language courses in Todi. You can pick the length of your course, and choose from different accommodation options too. For more information click here or contact Studiainitalia .
Todi by Livioandronico2013 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0
Photo by Instagram User
Cantico Wine Road, Umbria – photo by saporie.com