The Piazza del Mercato Vecchio (“Square of the Old Market”) is a square in Todi. The square, which is being used as a parking lot, owes its fame mainly to the Nicchioni Romani (“Roman Niches”) that overlook it.
Piazza del Mercato Vecchio Todi
Address: Piazza del Mercato Vecchio.
Roman Niches (Nicchioni Romani)
The impressive Roman Niches were built in the 1st century BC (towards the end of the Republican and beginning of the Imperial era). They are made of large blocks of travertine marble.
The niches resemble four enormous church apses (11 metres high and 6 metres wide) crowned by a cornice with Doric style ornaments. The triglyphs and metopes are decorated with bas-reliefs depicting human faces and weapons.
The niches are thought to have originally been intended as a supporting wall for the hill towering over the square. In the Middle Ages, however, people were of th opinion that they constituted the remains of a former ancient temple dedicated to the God Mars.