The term “Underground Todi” generally refers to a collection of voids and structures made by man, at different times and for the most disparate functions, under the hill on which the city of Todi stands. It is already fully formed in some pieces of the thirteenth century Historia Tudertine Civitatis.
“… and he himself (Hercules) built Pietralunga and the city walls; almost the majority of the city rests on seven columns, and the hero built the forum on the water reservoir on two columns, while most urban walls rest on the cistern… ”
Although there are some other hypogea (warehouses, wineries, neviers, crypts, etc.), the sand and gravel layers that formed the hill were mainly excavated to meet hydraulic needs: at present there are about 3 km of tunnels realized from the second century. B.C. until the 19th century. The main function of many of these undergrounds sites was the consolidation of the slopes of the hill, today as in the past tormented by the hydrogeological instability. In practice, galleries neutralize the mechanism that causes the landslides, reaching the critical points where water accumulates in the subsoil, draining it and transporting it to the surface where it can not cause damage.
Todi was unable to have an aqueduct coming from outside since the city rises on an isolated hill, surrounded by miles only from lower peaks. For this reason galleries became the main water supply system and some were excavated explicitly for this reason. The public fountains supplied by the tunnels contributed to the quench city, along with hundreds of wells from which the spring water was drawn, and the tens of cisterns fed by rainwater.
After the completion of the modern aqueduct equipped with cast iron pipes and motor pumps in 1925 and after that, in subsequent decades, running water reached all the houses, the ancient underground, kept for centuries by the fountain attendants who care for maintenance and the cleaning, became useless and were slowly forgotten. The immobility of the underworld has largely excluded these spaces from the changes that have affected the city on the surface transforming them into precious testimonies of the past: guardians of stories that are only waiting to be deciphered for being told again.