CIVITA DI BAGNOREGIO
No matter how many photographs or postcards you have seen, it remains a breathtaking experience. When you slowly approach the rock, you can not help but remain speechless for a few moments: the overhanging Tufo rock, the bridge that seems almost suspended, the ravines behind the small medieval houses.
We are between Orvieto and Viterbo and this is Civita di Bagnoregio, a small oasis 443 metres above sea level.
For those arriving here for the first time, at the foot of the bridge the show is fascinating but also a little disquieting. 300 metres of concrete bridge that climb steeply into the void through the valley, to connect with the access stairway to the village but the show is worth the effort of the climb. Once in front of the gate of Santa Maria, the sight of the valley is then lost.
Entering the village, let yourself be embraced by all its alleys, arches, loggias, balconies and small windows; you have entered an ancient world, far from the chaos and the noise of the city, where there is no space for cars or smog. The beauty of visiting Civita is to get lost in its maze of narrow streets, to discover hidden corners, beautiful homes or spectacular views of the ravines, those jagged crests of clay shaped by torrents and rains over the centuries. Discover them in our Photo Gallery !
The gate of Santa Maria, an open arch in the Peperino stone and surmounted by a loggia. It has two base reliefs, depicting a lion holding a man with claws, a metaphor of the expulsion of the Monaldeschi.
Piazza San Donato
It is the main square of the village and also the largest open space you will find. The paving of stones and earth brings us back in a moment to the late Middle Ages. A tangle of streets unravels in every direction. Choose your route or enter the Cathedral of San Donato, whose facade dominates the square. Inside the church there is a valuable fourteenth century wooden crucifix of the school of Donatello and a fresco of the school of Perugino.
The Geological and Landslide Museum
ASat on a narrow tufo hill, between the deep ravines where the Rio Chiaro and the Rio Torbido flow; exposed to rain and wind Civita is constantly being eroded. The Museum illustrates the geology of the town and of the Valle dei Calanchi, the process of degradation and the monitoring and stabilisation works on the past landslides. The history and the constant struggle of Civita for its survival in order not to call it “The City That Dies” anymore.
The House of Pinocchio
An historical house where some scenes of the 2008 film Pinocchio were shot.
The first Sunday in June and the second Sunday in September a daring race is held in Civita’s central square. It is similar to the Palio of Siena, a race between jockeys, in a circle (hence the name). However the jockeys are riding Donkeys.
Over 50 figures in period costume, representing the birth of Jesus. You can witness this extraordinary event on the days of 26 December, 1 and 6 January from 5pm until 7pm.
Roasting chestnuts throughout the village around mid-October.
Text by Manuela Rosellini