The Antica Canonica: An Enchanting Ancient And Contemporary History

The Antica Canonica: An Enchanting Ancient And Contemporary History

Great Estate Network Feb 19, 2023 No Comments

Let us tell you today the story of L’Antica Canonica: a unique property, an ancient monastery and then the residence of illustrious personalities, immersed in the quiet of the Todi countryside.

In the very heart of Umbria is Todi, a spiritual locality par excellence, with an ancient history and characteristics that have always made it a favourite destination for those who wish to immerse themselves in nature and silence.

The birthplace of the mystic poet Jacopo De Benedetti, who went down in history as Jacopone da Todi, this splendid village boasts pre-Roman origins and a dominant position over the Tiber Valley, which made it a stronghold much coveted by feudal lords and a lively trading crossroads in the Middle Ages.

In this area, precisely because of its peculiarities, most of which have remained intact through the centuries, we find properties such as ‘L’Antica Canonica‘, a place with an evocative history, transformed over the centuries from an ancient monastery to the exclusive home of artists and illustrious personalities.


Evidence of the origins of this beautiful village, located in the small hamlet of Canonica, west of Todi, is still preserved in the epigraph placed under the second entrance of the Hermitage where the names of Pope Honorius III, Prior Francone and the date 1216 can be read.

From the 16th century, the hamlet became a monastic place, inhabited by Camaldolese hermits.

The “Antica Canonica” was the scene of important historical and religious events over the centuries, until 1934, the year in which the hamlet was divested of its religious garb and transformed into a property for civil use.

The hamlet underwent several changes of ownership, mainly by international personalities who fell in love with its ancient beauty.

At that time, only a small part of the complex was used for residential puroposes, while the remaining part was uninhabitated and in poor condition.

The real rebirth of ‘L’Antica Canonica’ took place in 1973, when one of the fathers of Italian Abstract Art, Piero Dorazio, bought the former Camaldolese hermitage and began restoration work on some of the roofs, the church and the room to the south of it.

The great 20th-century artist decided to retire in such a spiritual place as Todi, and chose as his residence an ancient property that has been at the centre of many stories and adventurous occurrences, and where peace, nature and beauty reign at the same time.

The Master Dorazio applied for the constraint in 1978 and in 1990 undertook new consolidation works on the same previously restored spaces, giving stability to the renovated rooms and transforming ‘L’Antica Colonica’ into the jewel we can admire today: frescoes, vaults, arches, loggias and secret gardens.

Its structural elements include:

The Casa del Maestro, which houses a fabulous inner courtyard, a covered portico and a large covered terrace overlooking the gardens designed by Ippolito Pizzetti.

A guesthouse with an enclosed loggia overlooking the secret garden.

The deconsecrated Church of S. Angelo, an imposing building with a dominant bell tower, used by Maestro Dorazio as his main studio, with high ceilings and remains of frescoes and decorative arches.

The former infirmary is now the caretakers’ quarters.

The Cottage.

The marvellous swimming pool deserves a special mention: a true work of art, designed by artist Piero Dorazio in 1990 and decorated with coloured Bisazza mosaic tiles, which seem to move thanks to the effects of light and water.

Whether you also dream of living in a property steeped in history, enveloped in the peace and beauty of the Todi countryside, seize this opportunity.

Visit our website or call our head office for more information on “The Antica Canonica”

(an in-depth historical survey by architect Caterina Iacoangeli is also available on request.)

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Chiara Peppicelli

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