“With its extraordinarily beautiful historic centre, the cradle of Medieval civilisation, Todi has preserved excellent examples of Etruscan, Roman and Renaissance culture. Museums, churches, palaces and buildings, streets and alleyways: just look around to relive its dreamlike atmosphere, echoes of its distant past.”
According to ancient legend, Todi was founded in 2707 B.C. by the Veii-Umbri tribe, which had settled on the level ground along the shores of the Tiber River to create a new village.
Because it was located on the border between the Umbrian and Etruscan territories (the first, according to tradition, to the left of the Tiber, and the second, to the right), Todi was influenced by ancient Etruria. It is because of this that some scholars claim that the Roman name Tuder is derived from the Etruscan word Tular (border). The inhabitants of the area were first referred to as Tuderti, then Tudertini. During the Medieval era, the city’s name became Tudertum, and finally Tode in vernacular, from which the current name Todi is derived.
After undergoing a phase of intense urban development between the 5th and 4th centuries B.C., in the 3rd century B.C., it began a process of Romanisation. For Todi, Rome was not an invader, but rather an ally, to the point that it earned its Roman citizenship (89 B.C.) and became part of the Clustumina Tribe. It was subsequently rebaptised the Julia Fida Tuder Colony in 60 B.C.. In the Augustan Age, it underwent a period of intense construction, during which the theatre, amphitheatre, thermal baths and several temples were built, in addition to numerous public buildings and villas.
During the Greek-Gothic War (535-553), Todi was a garrison first for the Goths, then the Byzantines. Following the Longobardic invasion, it became part of the Byzantine corridor, along with Perugia. Despite its being a free township during the Medieval era then a lordship (according to the documentation), Todi lost its independence and came under the jurisdiction of the Church. In 1861, it became a part of the Kingdom of Italy. Todi has remained unchanged since Medieval times, as evidenced by a 1633 print by Giacomo Lauro.