Trumpets blare and drums roll: "Venghino signori, venghino, la Disfida di San Fortunato can officially begin!".

Perhaps not everyone knows that Todi is also known as the city of archers, heir to medieval traditions and guardian of stories and legends. Here in autumn, ancient customs are rediscovered with a typical festival that unites young and old. So are you ready to take a plunge into the past with us?

To search for the origins of this festivity - one of the most eagerly awaited and beloved events for citizens and tourists alike - you have to go back a few centuries when jousts and contests were organised in honour of Bishop Fortunato, an illustrious man acclaimed by all as defensor civitatis.

The Middle Ages, particularly the 13th century, represented for Todi the golden age of its splendour, one of its moments of maximum expansion and prestige. It was during these years that you could have come across the poet Jacopone in the streets of the then perched village, or, a few decades later, ask for 'magic' advice and prodigious elixirs from the witch Matteuccia, one of the most eccentric and rebellious protagonists of Todi's history.

By an exercise in imagination, you have to think that Todi was a town in continuous development. It was an important crossroads for passing merchants and knights because of its central position, often the cause of bitter rivalries between Guelph and Ghibelline families.

Between the 1200s and mid-1400s, the city centre began to expand, spreading out on the slopes of the hill beyond the second circle of Roman walls, and dividing into four different districts protected by a new city wall into which the main gates to the city were inserted - Porta Perugina, Porta Romana, Porta Fratta, Porta Orvietana. Piazza del Popolo was also built, and gradually all the noble and historical palaces surrounding it were built.

Today, centuries later, as every year, on the occasion of the patron saint's feast day, the city once again takes on the guise of an ancient mediaeval centre with historical processions animated by figures, goodman and ladies, street artists, minstrels and falconers.

During the days of the Disfida of San Fortunato, the six districts challenge each other with bow and arrows in a tournament on the steps of the cathedral that decrees the winner of the Palio dell'Aquila. The challenge for the title of 'Knight of San Fortunato', on the other hand, is different, with around 180 archers from all over Italy competing on a course of 10 pitches along the historic centre.

To fully immerse yourself in the atmosphere, don't miss the opportunity to enjoy a special dinner at the Medieval Banquet, or to browse among the stalls of the artisans at the 'Tipico Todi' market and listen to the Concert of Classical Music for San Fortunato that takes place in the splendid setting of the Sala delle Pietre.

New this year, the theatrical performance 'Fortunato, è degno, è degno!', by the ARTò Association, Kamalentis project.

In short, in Todi these days you can breathe a festive air. You cannot miss it!