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Simple but Beautiful

Amazing architecture with a simplistic beauty. Amazing how each of these churches have their own... read more

Reviewed 23 October 2018
301ericw
,
Granada, Nicaragua
via mobile
The view from the top of the tower is Spectacular

The view from the top of the tower in the church is worth every euro. You get a 360 degree view of... read more

Reviewed 15 October 2017
Mark S
,
Santa Barbara, United States
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Reviewed 15 October 2017

The view from the top of the tower in the church is worth every euro. You get a 360 degree view of Todi and the tile roofs everywhere. It's truly one of the best views in all of Umbria. But hurry because they aren't open many hours.

Date of experience: July 2017
Thank Mark S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 April 2017

This was surprise discovery for me. I was traveling twice from Orvieto to Assisi by train and decided to stop at these small towns along the train line. It was a hill town as so many of them were in that region before devastation caused by earth quakes and plagues changed the landscape and population for good. The visit took place during an extended stay in central Italy many years ago long before the range of calendar dates suitable for indicating the time of my visit were made available for completing this review. I wanted to see these towns before arriving at Assisi. The train schedule worked in my favor. I was traveling with a eur-rail pass and an international student identity card to save money. Approaching the church on foot was for me a fascinating walk through the hill town. Staying outside to view the structure was beneficial. It was the inside that overwhelmed me in many ways. I climbed the tower and saw the landscape as it was unrivaled in many ways when compared with others in the same town. The famous painting "Madonna with Child" is at the center stage inside the church. Origins of the church as far as construction goes was medieval (13th century) for chronological periods and I believe that the Franciscans began the work. Worth knowing what these groups did then as compared with today. The entrance at the main door deserves your attention. Medieval poets or saints and mystics are buried there. The gothic like design at the front is a masterpiece of medieval art considered to be of unrivaled quality in sculpture. Vines and branches of plants with tendrils have a playful elegance to keep me looking at it many times. For this reason I needed at least two hours to see the interior of the church. I encourage you to see the choir built later maybe in the 16th century. This was a most interesting church for those of you who like to study church design and architecture. I brought with me some knowledge about church construction and architecture as well as the Italian language. That information if packaged in college level learning would be a beginning point for approaching this church. Anything noticeably less might not be sufficient background because this church was an intellectually challenging site for me. See the crypt to view the tomb of Jacapone in the basement. Humble church in many ways with its beginning in an earlier era. Elements of romanesque church design and art are here in abundance. Great perspectives from this Todi church and the hill town were worth photographs. Specialists in Italian medieval studies will have a field day here. Do not wander around munching on two ham sandwiches or drinking a milk shake. Be respectful for this is part of the Italian national cultural heritage that needs to be preserved. Do not bring your pet dog. This examination of the church was for me serious business and for that reason it might be more suitable for adults than for younger children. In my personal collection art books I have two large volumes about romanesque art with reference to this town and church. Guess what I read upon returning home. Pay attention to the low pitched vault and polygonal apses and naves and aisles of equal heights supposedly modeled after the German gothic "hall" shaped churches and the "barn" shaped churches of Tuscany. It took much time but I did try to make comparisons with three other churches in Italy. As it turned out there were more than just three or four. Not an easy task I assure you. I had to read about that stuff later in what was a most pleasant reading assignment. Like so much that is on display here and in most other places in Italy I knew what I had missed in school learning. If you are a medieval scholar or a serious student of early Gothic or late romanesque Italian church design there is much to see here in the Duomo and museums and several other churches that deserved my prolonged attention and for that reason I returned to see this hill town a second time.

Date of experience: May 2016
1  Thank GuidoLocattelli
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 April 2017

The exterior of this church is less than promising. it was begun in the thirteenth century by the Franciscans but a devastating outbreak of plague meant that there was neither money nor artizans to complete it. Do not miss however, the playful elegance of the carving round the main door, with a vine and tendrils in which sit prophets and saints. this is a mediaeval work of unrivalled quality. Look for the sculptor's joke at the bottom of the vine where a man is quietly squatting to answer a call of nature, whilst a crocodile or other fantastic beast with jaws, creeps upon him to bite his bottom. This joke in no way detracts from the refined Annunciation, the Angel and Our Lady on either side of the main door, carved with a balletic perfection of touch and rhythm which is in itself moving.

Date of experience: April 2017
Thank SibyllaTiburtina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 October 2016

Approach is via two steep flights of steps, zig-zag paths with steps, then two more flights of steps - but it's well worth the effort of getting there!
The entrance deserves close study - the detailing in the stonework is well preserved, quite witty in places and highly decorative.
The inside is simple and airy, with remnants of frescoes and wall paintings worthy of a closer look. The Masolino da Panicale fresco of the "Madonna enthroned with child and two angels" deserves a special mention.

Date of experience: September 2016
Thank Geoff T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 September 2016 via mobile

The church is humble but has a rich history. The tomb of Jacapone is downstairs but the view from the tower is unrivalled in Todi. You can see for miles and get a great perspective of Todi.

Date of experience: September 2016
Thank Tmagperth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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