Todi dragons and regulus
“We went after him in the middle of terrifying ditches, we saw his breath come out thicker from the Piana Cave shafts.
We went to catch him also under the Tiber waters, in a place called “Hellhole” .
Instead he, the king of the snakes, the regulus, the mythological dragon was two steps away from our homes.
He was in the center of our city, carved, painted, he was told in more and more ways.
He was born from a rooster, hatched by a toad, half snake, he has scared us as children.
He who makes the peasant folklore the real historical link of our community “.
There are many stories and legends and “evidence” about a fairy passed down through generations about Dragons who wandered in the Tiber valley .
A few years ago, we hosted an exhibition entirely dedicated to our Dragons.
It noted the presence of Dragons in the medieval iconography and sculptures of San Fortunato Church and in Todi Cathedral .
It was organized by the Speleological Group and by the Urban Divers of Todi, exposing some evidence like the rib of Forello Dragon.
The “Infernaccio” Dragon ( Hellhole dragon)
Speleologists tell about the Forello exploration and of its cavities that maintain, in the collective memory, a direct relationship with these mythological presences.
So many tales and stories that revolve around the devil-turned-dragon.
First of all the St Romana Cave from which the demonic dragon massacred people and animals, not to mention the stories about the Snake Rock and the mysterious “Infernaccio”.
The Dragon rib, according to legend, killed by the Bishop of Todi soldiers, is kept in the Temple of Santa Maria della Consolazione.
The Dragon lair is indicated in the cartography and has been subject of several dives made by cave divers in order to better understand the cartographic signs.
Explorations made especially in the“Infernaccio area where the Tiber “disappear making gurgling noises into a black hole“.
If you are curious, like we are, and want to visit the Piana Cave or the Forello Gorges, contact us or contact the Speleological Group of Todi or Urban Divers.
It will be an unforgettable day.
Saint Sylvester and the Dragon
Going down the main Corso you arrive at the Santa Maria trivium characterized by the presence of St Sylvester Church.
The church, one of the oldest in the city, was built before the eleventh century.
Inside there are many frescoes but the most important is the one where Pope Sylvester submits the Dragon.
The legend tells that the Pope, on Soratte Mountain defeated and killed a dragon.
The dragon, symbol of evil, is pictured crouching at the feet of the saint, he is kept on chain, in a total submission act.
The suggestion of St Sylvester dragon might have scared the unskilled workers into believing, when, in the eighteenth century, digging in S.S. Trinity church garden, just a few meters from St Silvestro, they found out of the ordinary bones.
Here is the story by Pirro Lavi:
“In May 1773, in Todi, while digging the earth for the new S.S. Trinity monastery foundations, was discovered the skeleton of a “great beast”.
The bone of the front legs, which was without junction, measured seven palms, while the other bones of the legs had a scythe shape.
The laborers, just seen the beast, they began playing with the bones till reduce them into pieces, the teeth, however, were saved.
The Mother Superior for absolute abhorrence or just for superstition disperse the already reduced in minute pieces skeleton”
Perhaps the smallest but certainly the most feared: The Regulus.
The king of the snakes, a scaly reptile in the guise of a cock with a serpent’s tail or a winged serpent.
Reminds the greek basilisk.
Born from a cock’s egg seven or fourteen years old, hatched by a toad or a frog on a manure pile.
He kills just by a look, with this lethal breath or carving up the unlucky only by contact.
Legend tell that he lived along the Tiber in the “Snake Rock” terrorizing the people of Todi and of the valley.
It is said that was killed by Saint George, once released from the cave.