Date: 7th September 2018
Travelled: 106 kilometres from Sovana in Tuscany to Todi in Umbria, Italy.
Visited: Citta del Tufa, Necropoli of Sovana €5pp and the town of Todi
Stayed: Todi car-park, free. Toilet + bin. N42.77800, E12.40065
Budget: 96 days @ €95 per day.
After getting our vowels muddled yesterday, we enjoyed a quiet night in Sovana. We shared the car-park with a Swiss motorhome that weren’t very friendly (probably something to do with Millman giving Roger a flogging the day before) and two young woman sleeping in a Ford Fiesta, good luck to that.
We make a bit of an early start. The sign says ‘Paid Parking’ after 8am, but just to avoid a nasty council officer we are on our way by 9am. Not far however just down the hill about 2 klms to the Parco Archeological ‘Citta del Tufa’ car-park.
We have breakfast in the car-park waiting for the 10am opening time. Go and pay a very uninterested young woman €5pp and go for a walk. Why are we visiting Etruscan ruins and tombs I here you say. Well the Etruscans dominated central Italy for 400 year, basicaly till they we absorbed into the Roman Empire. Like this once magnificient statue of a lion, they just eroded away. This amazing sculpture of the winged demon Alati once graced the arch above a tomb. The ‘Tombi dei Demoni Alati’, a lion in the foreground, partner of the one from the earlier photo. The carving of the demon in the last photo, once lined the arch. The ‘Tonba Ildebranda’ the largest of the tomb complexes here. Just in case, you get lost. The site here is spread over a large area, but essentially it involves walking 3 separate paths along the ridge and canyon. There’s probably an hours walking and 45 minutes of taking in the various tombs you find. Inside one of the tombs. Whilst the tombs at Tarquinia where deep underground, hence better preserved, the tombs at Sovana are much easier to access, mostly looted back in roman times according to the blurb. Walking up one of the canyons. Every now and then you catch site of something. A lot is not sign posted, so ?
Back in the Hymer again, arguing over which tomb was best, we have a coffee before travelling on.
A lovely grove of roadside trees mark the way to Orvieto.
Whilst Orvieto looks grand sitting on a large hill-top, we have set our sights further up the road today. But we stop at the Lidl and have lunch in the car-park before continuing on.
Another hill-side village, with a name we cannot remember. The villages dispersed between groves of olive trees and vineyards make for an picturesque drive. If your not busy dodging pot-holes of course. We arrive in Todi and find a spot in the car-park below the old town. At this stage we get a solid thunderstorm with some heavy rain. Our first stop is the Church of St Mary Della Consolazione. Its huge dome can be seen from miles away. The main altar.
From the church we decide to take the short cut, via a set of stairs then walk the long way around on the road. 400+ stairs later the long way was looking a little easier. Anyway looking across at the old town. Finally at the top, we find the Rocco. In Tuscany and Umbria they use the term Rocco rather than castle or cittadel. On the Piazza del Popolo, looking up toward the Duomo or Cathedral. As you can see it has started to drizzle but we have an umbrella. Inside the duomo looking forward to the altar. Turn around and look back towards the entrance, it’s heaven and hell. Just to remind you what happens if your naughty I suppose. The rosette at the top is equally spectacular. Some interesting frescos are preserved in one chapel. So it’s still drizzling a little, we find a little bar on the piazza with a large awning. Order a drink and watch the people wander by. An hour later we are walking back to the Hymer another day’s adventure in Umbria complete.
Michael and Pam