A nice day in Civita di Bagnoregio

Photo taken by the author

Civita di Bagnoregio is a town in the Province of Viterbo in central Italy. It is situated in the Calanchi valley and it is only accessible through a footbridge from the nearby town of Bagnoregio.

The name ‘The Dying Town’ was given to the city by the italian writer Bonaventura Tecchi that lived there when he was young.

Civita di Bagnoreggio on Google Maps

After parking in Bagnoregio, as already said, the only way to get to Civita is crossing a footbridge for a fee.

Then the first thing you will find is Porta San Maria, surmounted by a pair of lions grabbing two human heads, symbol of the lords defeated by the inhabitants of Bagnoregio. Continuing up ahead you will arrive in the main square where there is the church of San Donato.

While in the main square it is a good idea to eat something in one of the many restaurant, I highly suggest you to try La Cantina Di Arianna.

It is strange to think that currently in Civita there are only 16 permanent inhabitants, while most of the people you see around live in Bagnoregio. It is even stranger to think that due to the progressive erosion of the hill in a couple of hundreds years the city will disappear. We do not usually pay attention to the temporariness of things but time just flows without we even notice it.

Hayao Miyazaki took inspiration from Civita for the realization of his 1986 movie Castle in the Sky produced by Studio Ghibli.


I want to close this story with one of the citation of Bonaventura Tecchi about Civita:

“Non sarei diventato scrittore, se non fossi vissuto, nella mia fanciullezza, ogni anno, fra settembre e novembre, nella valle di Civita con la visione davanti agli occhi del tufo dorato, dei ruderi estrosi e luminosi del paese che muore. Lì ho imparato ad amare la malinconia di ciò che passa ed insieme l’energia di chi, essendo uomo, cioè creatura spirituale, non vuol morire e spera nell’eterno.” — Antica Terra — Bonaventura Tecchi

I will try to translate it in English as better as I can:

“I would not have become a writer if I had not lived, in my childhood, every year, between September and November, in the Civita valley with the vision before my eyes of the golden tuff, of the whimsical and luminous ruins of the dying town. There I learned to love the melancholy of what passes and at the same time the energy of those who, being a man, that is a spiritual creature, do not want to die and hope for eternity.” — Antica Terra — Bonaventura Tecchi

Just to be clear I do not have any commercial affiliation to the mentioned companies.



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