In 340 B.C. The Romans conquered Umbria and, in 90 B.C. Todi became Roman municipality ,enlarged with an amphitheatre ,the spa ,Jupiter,Juno,Mars and Minerva's temples and a new walls circle ; in piazza del Mercato Vecchio it is possible to see the Nicchioni Romani.
In the 6th century A.D. It was a Goth and a Longobard presidium.Todi's inhabitants fought the Goths,led by the bishop Fortunato. Desiderio ,king of the Longobards ,defined it's boundary together with Pope Paolo I in 757. In the Early Middle Ages Todi began to assume the feudal castle's appearance and was dominated by potent feudatories :counts Arnolfi,counts of Montemarte and Atti. The conflicts between Guelphes and Ghibellines started with Federico Barbarossa arrival in 1169 :Tuder (so called in the medieval period) become a Free Town and conquered Terni and Amelia (13th cent.).
In 1202 they elected a Podestà ;in 1255 a People's Captain supported him and Todi citizens also founded the Guilds,led by the Priori .Of this period : St.Annunziata Cathedral, Palazzo del Popolo(1213) ,Palazzo del Podestà e del Capitano(1292), Palazzo dei Priori(14th cent.) and the third walls circle , 4 km long.
In 1236 was born Jacopo de Benedetti, called Jacopone da Todi: he is an important personage of St. Francis tradition, and one of the first dialectal poet of Italy. In 1368 Todi loose its freedom :many noblemen settled here. Then it become a pontifical domain and started its decline (interrupted by of St.Fortunato's completion in the 14th cent.).
The Todi's revival occured with the accession of Angelo Cesi Bishop (1566-1606). He commissioned the Cesia fountain (via della Piana),Viviano degli Atti Palace (Piazza Garibaldi),the Bishop Palace, the Crucifix Temple .He wanted the the completion of S.Maria della Consolazione
Temple ,started in 1508,maybe on a plan by Donato Bramante or by Antonio da Sangallo,inaugurated with a big ceremony in 1606.
PIAZZA DEL POPOLO has been the real heart of Todi since the Roman Era: the palaces are the symbol of the spiritual,political and civil of the Free Commune.
THE PALACE OF THE PRIORS was built in the 14th century and finished in 1337 .It housed the Priors (the workshop were at ground level); then the excise office and later the papal governor.
The tower was added in the 15th century and the Renaissance windows were built in the 16th century.The bronze eagle was made by Giovanni di Gigliaccio in 1339 :it is symbol of the town.
THE CATHEDRAL has a 12th century façade and is dedicated to tha Assumption of Mary.It was erected (on the ruins of the Romain Capitolium) in the early 12th century in a Romanesque style and completed in a gothic style in the 14th century.
In the 14th century the bell-tower was added, while the beautiful central rose-window dates back to the 16th century.The crypt and the apse trace back to the 7th century.
The interior (a nave and two aisles) is divided by pillars and columns with wonderful capitals . In the 16th century Faenzone frescoed a Last Judgement on the entrance wall, drawning inspiration from Michelangelo.Next to the Cathedral was erected the Bishop Palace in the 16th century.
The PALACE OF THE CAPTAIN, was constructed at the end of the 13th century in Italian Gothic style ,has an impressive portico and Romanesque three-light and four-light cuspidate windows. It houses the Civic Museum.
The PALACE OF THE PEOPLE was added to the Captain's one in the 13th century: they are connected by a nice staircase. It isa Gothic-Lombard structure enlarged in 1233,while the tower-bell dates back to 1330. The portico has round arches ; the façade is adorned with four-light mullioned windows. It was the first Priors' residence.
St.Fortunato's Church is a wonderful example of the last Gothic architecture and also the largest Umbrian church after the Basilica of Assisi. The “great fabric” began in 1292 on the ruins of a little Benedictine church dates from 11th century ,as the two lions at the sides of the entrance testify; the works were completed in the 15th century. The unfinished façade is proceded by a fine stairway and has three Gothic portals: the central one is wonderful,with rich and accurate twisted columns,carved patterns and two 15th century statues by Jacopo della Quercia.
The 14th century High Altar is Gothic.Remarkable a fresco by Masolino da Panicale(1432) and also the wooden choir by Antonio Maffei from Gubbio (1590).The imposing Gothic tower-bell was erected 1460. The crypt preserves the relics of the five patron saints of the town and the sepulchre of Jacopone da Todi.The old convent has a fine cloister. Around Porta Marzia you can visit the most typical and well-preserved medieval quarter.
In Piazza del Mercato Vecchio there are the Four Roman Niches,maybe the remains of the Temple of Mars .
The nice Cesia Fountains was built in the 17th century,while the one called “of the Scarnabecco” took its name from the podestà who commissioned it in 1241 and has a eight arches portico.
Near this fountain there is little Romanesque Church of St.Carlo (or St.Ilario), that preserves a Madonna of the Rescue by Spagna. St.Nicolò de Cryptis was set up on the ruins of the Roman Amphitheatre in the 12th century, near Porta Romana.
St. Mary of Consolation is the wonderful Renaissance that introduces you to Todi from the bridge on the river Tevere.The construction began in 1508 and finished 1607, in the place where was venereted a miraculous fresco,still preserved into the church .It has a Greek Cross, central plan, four apses surmounted by a terrace on which is placed the fine dome supported by twelve pilasters .
Bramante contributed to the its project ,such as Antonio da Sangallo Il Giovane, Alessi and Peruzzi.
Large window lightern the interior adorned with baroque altars , with the enormous statue representing Martino I ,with the walnut choir built in 1590 and with the 17th century statues of the Apostles.
He is one of the most important Todi's inhabitants : Jacopo dei Benedetti, called Jacopone da Todi,was born in this town in 1236 .He was a mystic friar ,author of many “laude”.
He was converted after his wife's death,one year after their wedding: he gave poor men everything he had and, for 10 years, he subjected himself to ferocious penance.
He was admitted into the Franciscan Order, into the radical wing called Spiritualists. Pope Bonifacio VIII condemned them :Jacopone faced the Pope with his verse, and so he was sent to prison. Released by Pope Benedetto XI , he went to the Clares convent in Collazzone ,where he died in 1306 in St. Lorenzo monastery.
The Casale dei Frontini has 5 double bedrooms with a private bath, bed linen, hairdryer, TV set and heating. Every room overlooks the surrounding landscape or the private garden.
The Casale dei Frontini has 3 apartments, each one with 2/4 beds. Every apartment offers ouble bedroom, bath, living room with kitchenette and fridge, tableware and cutlery, and a sofa-bed for 2 persons.
Restaurant Casale dei Frontini in Frontignano, Todi. Traditional umbrian cuisine using products of the farm, like Chianina beef, olive oil, our sausages, salami or cheese.
Our umbrian farm owns 20 hectares of land, all around the country house, with cultivations, wood, meadows for pasture and hay, a vineyard and an olive grove.