The medieval borough of Civita di Bagnoregio, known as ‘the dying village’ is located on top of a rocky spur of tufa 70 metre high which is crumbling slowly but surely in time. It is overlooking the ‘Badland’s Valley’, an area studded with big strips of whitish clay cut into the soil called badlands or “calanchi” which make this zone unique from a naturalistic and environmental point of view. Heavy erosion, mainly caused by rain doesn’t allow to vegetation to grow on the clay ridges and pinnacles, making the landscape looking bare and bone-dried, featuring the valley like a moon landscape. Civita appears today as an island linked by a narrow modern concrete foot-bridge to the zone of Mercatello, the marketplace which was located to the side of the main road leading to Bagnoregio and leading up to the town’s arched entry way.
On the hill the firs urban site was founded by Etruscans at least 2500 years ago, it has been continuously inhabited ever since. In Roman Times Civita was connected by a paved road with the Tiber River valley to the east and the Roman via Cassia near Lake Bolsena to the west. Little is known about the settlement in the period immediately after the disintegration of the Roman Empire. In the late Middle Ages, during the eleventh to thirteenth centuries Civita was at its peak, an independent city state controlling the surrounding territory. By the sixteenth century Civita was beginning to decline and a major earthquake in 1695 accelerated this trend. Most of the inhabitants, the Bishop and the municipal government of Civita moved to Bagnoregio.
Guided walk itinerary: Porta di Santa Maria – Piazza San Donato – Chiesa di San Donato– Piazza dell’Episcopio – Via di San Bonaventura da Bagnoregio.
Would you like to visit another fascinating site of the surrounding areas? Choosing:
Monster Park, Bomarzo or
Villa Lante, Bagnaia or
Palazzo Farnese, Caprarola
Some kilometric distances:
Rome- Civita di Bagnoregio 137 km
Orvieto-Civita di Bagnoregio 21 km
Viterbo-Civita di Bagnoregio 23 km