Todi offers its visitors the gift of a unique and unforgettable experience throughout the year, but at Christmas it is even more beautiful and charming, if you can believe it.
For anyone planning on visiting Todi over the holidays, then here is a brief itinerary – an easy one-day programme – to be sure to see the best of what the town has to offer for the Christmas period.
We recommend starting from Massa Martana, a small hilltop hamlet approximately 15 minutes by car from Todi: from December 24 to January 6 this village will be hosting the XVIIth edition of a high profile event, “Presepi d’Italia – Mostra Nazionale del Presepe Artistico (Nativity Scenes of Italy – National Exhibition of Artistic nativity Scenes)” , with an astounding 150 nativity scenes and related works of great sculptors and ceramists.
Once again for 2018 these will feature the outstanding nativity scene ice sculpture, as one-of-a-kind and astonishing as always: this year it was inspired by an article that appeared on the front page of “Domenica del Corriere” depicting Pope John XXIII and the Holy Family.
The exhibition is held in more than 20 venues in this charming hamlet.
Heading towards Todi, and continuing with the theme of nativity scenes, it is a must – also because it is along the road – to stop over at the Sanctuary of Collevalenza a very popular destination for religious pilgrimages.
Among other things, this location hosts a large polyscenic nativity scene, animated with lights and a narrator’s voice, representing not only the crèche but also the various other meaningful events depicted in the Bible: the creation of the world, Moses and the Israelites, the mission of the prophets, the life of Jesus and therefore not only his birth but his death and resurrection as well.
You then get into town: it is easiest to park in the free car park at the Santa Maria della Consolazione Church for the requisite visit to the church, and then continue on foot towards the centre along the street bearing the same name, Viale della Consolazione.
Along the way you can enjoy the view overlooking the valley and at Christmas in particular, after the sun has set, you can’t miss the view of the beautifully lit majestic Linden tree of the Montesanto Convent,: if you wish to visit it up close, from the aforementioned Consolazione car park – possibly leaving at the end of the day – it is a 10-minute walk, and no more than 2 minutes in the car.
In the meantime, if you have reached the Oberdan Gardens, the view from there is as breathtaking as always, and for anyone wishing to try an alternative, yet convenient and easy route, next to the gardens there is a downhill street taking you to Valle Bassa (Low Valley), a small historical neighbourhood, cosy and particularly quaint, with a view of the valley that visitors can always enjoy from glimpses between walls, arches, tiny streets and stairs.
From here it is easy to get to the Nido dell’Aquila (Eagle’s Nest) complex, another little gem of architecture and scenery. From there, just a few steps away, you can go back up to Piazza del Popolo, which, this year, is marvellously animated with initiatives organised for the “Le luci di Natale (Christmas lights)” event.
Going down Corso Cavour, admiring the lights and window displays decorated for the holidays, you get to Porta Romana which, from December 21 to 24, hosts the “Natale a Porta Romana (Christmas at Porta Romana)” initiatives : entertainment, shows, workshops and concerts dedicated to children, including Santa’s Elves Workshop, which is also fun for adults.
Until January 6 there are many concerts and events held in the city: these include the Christmas Concert at the Duomo on the evening of December 23, New Year’s in Piazza with music by Logic Alm and the Epiphany Concert, on January 5 directed this year once again by maestro Salvatore Silivestro.
Basically, there is no doubt: Todi’s magic Christmas is expecting you.