Civita di Bagnoregio

Civita di Bagnoregio



Sights in Civita di Bagnoregio

The town of Civita is located just outside of Umbria in the region of Lazio.  This town is perched on top of a pinnacle.  The town was once connected to the town of Bagnoregio by a donkey path.  Eventually erosion destroyed the path along with much of the town itself.  A wooden bridge was then built to connect the two towns, but it too was destroyed, this time by a bomb during World War II. 


Today you must walk from Bagnoregio to Civita via a foot bridge.  The walk is about 30 minutes with the last 5-10 minutes up a steep incline.  This was once the route the Etruscans took on the journey to Rome.  You enter the city through the original Etruscan entrance with an arch that was added in the 12th century.


The town of Civita is referred to as the “dead town” by the residents of Bagnoregio because today there are only about 15 year round residents here.  


While there is very little to do in Civita the sheer uniqueness of the town’s unusual location and precarious situation will make you glad you came.  Your visit will find Etruscan ruins, Renaissance palaces (some in ruins because they are slipping from the cliffs) and amazing canyon views.  Enjoy a light lunch or snack in the small café, snack bar or the wine cellar which offers panini or bruschetta


In the main square you will find the church with its original Etruscan columns in front.  Inside you are treated to Renaissance frescos.  Follow the main road past the church, the wine cellar and the olive presses (dating back 1,500 years) to the Etruscan caves.  These may have originally been tombs.  Today one serves as the Chapel of the Incarcerated.  Past here a dirt path leads to a tunnel beneath the city.  The tunnel dates to Etruscan times.


After your time in this magical place, you return to reality and the town of Bagnoregio which has all the modern conveniences of small town Italy.


There are a couple of rooms for rent in Civita and a couple of hotels in Bagnoregio.  If you are staying in Orvieto or Umbria, it is well worth a stop.  This is also a fine stop between Rome and Florence.  Note that in the winter months you might not find anything open and the howling winds on the foot bridge may scare you away.


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