The Gothic Tempio di San Fortunato Church in Todi was built in the 13th century on the ruins of an existing church. The main attractions are the tomb of the saint himself and the panorama from the bell tower.
Tempio di San Fortunato Todi
Address, Opening Hours and Admission
The address of the San Fortunato Church is Piazza della Repubblica – 06059 Todi (tel. +39 0758 945311). Bus: n/a. Opening hours: April to September from 09.00 to 13.00 and 15.00 to 19.00. October to March from 10.00 to 13.00 and from 14.30 to 17.00. Closed: Monday. Entrance fee: Free of charge.
On October 14 the feast day of the saint after whom the church is named (also the patron saint of Todi) takes place.
History and curiosities
The construction of the present church began in 1292, on a building that was then exactly a century old. The municipality contributed to its construction in order to emphasize the importance of the Franciscan presence in the town. The church was not completed until 1465.
The facade of the church was made between 1415 and 1458 by Giovanni di Santuccio di Firenzuola, with some help from his grandson Bartolo di Angelo.
The lower level of the Gothic facade is divided into five planes by six pillars. The three entrance gates are located in the central three of these planes.
When viewing the church, the first thing that strikes one is the large central gate, with a pointed arch framed by spiral columns. The wide outer column is flat and decorated with sculptures representing respectively the Archangel Gabriel and the Virgin Mary. The sculpture are attributed to pupils of Jacopo della Quercia).
The upper part of the façade was never completely finished after Firenzuola’s death in 1458.
The interior of San Fortunato Church is characterized by three naves, all with a cross vault. The left nave has six chapels and the right one seven.
Tempio di San Fortunato, what to see
Near the 1st pillar on the left is a baptismal font made of two superimposed capitals. The upper one, from the 8th century, shows Jesus in whose mouth grain and grapes can be seen. This one is probably from the original church.
In the Chapel of San Michele Arcangelo (4th chapel on the left), part of a 1432 fresco painted by Masolino da Panicale depicting the “Madonna with Child and Angels” can be seen.
In the Cappella Gregoriana at the back of the nave there is a wooden altar from 1758 graced with the canvas “Coronation of the Virgin with the Archangel Michael and Saints Peter, John the Baptist and Paul” painted by Andrea Polinori in 1618.
In the presbytery there is a wooden choir from 590 carved by Antonio Maffei.
The Cappella dell’Assunta is decorated with frescoes by Andrea Polinori.
The tomb of Jacopo de’ Benedetti is located in the crypt. This poet was better known as Jacopone da Todi.
In the middle of the church is a statue representing San Fortunato himself.
Saint Fortunato’s ashes are buried in an urn under the temple, along with those of the city’s other patron saints, San Callisto, San Cassiano and Saints Degna and Romana.
A plaque for the poet Jacopone can be seen underneath the church, along with a small monument along the left wall where his remains are located.
From the sacristy, one can climb the bell tower for a nice panorama of town and surroundings.