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From the middle earth to the continent of the Seven Kingdoms, from Hogwarts to Todi: dragons have always been part of the common imagination, from ancient times until today.

Let's think for example to the hit TV series "Game of Thrones". Who wouldn't want to be Daenerys Targaryen, Mother of Dragons, able to ride and tame three ferocious but beautiful winged creatures?
Don't worry, you don't have to go to the faraway continent of the Seven Kingdoms to hear stories about dragons, as there are many legends and testimonies of Dragons and Reguls in the Tiber Valley, where Todi is located.
An exhibition dedicated entirely to the Dragons of the valley took place in 2013. The show highlighted the presence of the dragon and the ruler in the medieval iconography and sculptures of San Fortunato and the Cathedral of Todi.
The speleologists tell the exploration of the Forello and its cavities that have a direct relationship with these mythological presences in the collective memory.
Many tales and stories revolve around the devil turned into the Dragon.
First of all the Grotta di S. Romana in which a demonic dragon made massacres of people, and then the stories about the Snake's Rock and the fantastic Infernaccio.

The Dragon's Rib
As the legend tells, the dragon’s rib is preserved in the Temple of S. Maria della Consolazione.
It dates back to the years 1457-1458 and has "seven palms and seven ounces long": it is the gigantic bone of a prehistoric animal brought as a vow by the faithful to Santa Maria della Consolazione. Tuderti prayed the saint to kill a winged monster coming out of the Gole del Forello.
This remnant has been called a dragon's rib, which has always been kept in the church as a thanksgiving of the soldiers of Todi to the Virgin for having defeated the terrible reptile coming from the Gole del Forello. The winged monster was nothing more than the figurative symbol of the continuous struggle between good and evil.

The dragon of St. Sylvester
Another incredible piece is kept in the Church of San Silvestro.
This church is one of the oldest in the city, built before the 11th century.
Inside it contains countless frescoes of which one in particular represents Pope Sylvester who subdues the Dragon. Legend has it that the Pontiff had defeated and killed a dragon, symbol of evil, painted crouching at the feet of the saint, kept tied with a chain in the act of total submission.


The Rule
The ruler or little snake king is the smallest but certainly the most feared.
It is a scaly reptile with the appearance of a rooster with a snake tail or a winged snake. It is born from a rooster egg, brooded on a pile of manure by a toad or a frog. It kills with its eyes, lethal breath or by consuming the unlucky with just contact.
Legend has it that it lived along the Tiber in the Snake Rock, frightening the people of Todi. It is said that it was St. George who killed him, outside the cave.

The Dragon's Rib at Pieve di S. Crescenziano
Another testimony of Dragons in Umbria.
It is said that the valiant soldier Crescenziano killed this monstrous snake that suppressed the population with its pestilential breath. Today it remains the source with sulphurous smells from which the dragon came out. In Pieve de Saddi there is the iron collar that bound S. Crescenziano and a giant broken rib of about 2 meters of the dragon he defeated.