Civita di Bagnoregio, known throughout the world as “the dying city“, is a wonderful medieval village in the province of Viterbo built on a tufa spur overlooking the surrounding valleys and connected to the town of Bagnoregio thanks only to a long bridge.

The visit to Civita di Bagnoregio offers different emotions. Those of being in a country that has kept intact its appearance of medieval city, the wonderful views that can be admired and those given by the beautiful colors that dye it at sunset.

Civita di Bagnoregio, known throughout the world as “the dying city“, is a wonderful medieval village in the province of Viterbo built on a tufa spur overlooking the surrounding valleys and connected to the town of Bagnoregio thanks only to a long bridge.

The visit to Civita di Bagnoregio offers different emotions. Those of being in a country that has kept intact its appearance of medieval city, the wonderful views that can be admired and those given by the beautiful colors that dye it at sunset.

Civita di Bagnoregio is one of the most beautiful villages in Italy and is a candidate to become a UNESCO Heritage.

The village of Civita di Bagnoregio

Civita di Bagnoregio
Civita di Bagnoregio

At first sight, Civita di Bagnoregio looks like an open-air museum. Entering from the Porta Santa Maria, a stone arch surmounted by a small loggia, you immediately feel as if you have been back in time for hundreds of years. The urban planning and the buildings, in fact, have remained typical of a medieval town.

Between common houses and noble palaces, you can stroll between the amazement and the wonder until you get to Piazza San Donato, which is the place with the greatest medieval connotations. The flooring, in fact, is presented exactly as it was at the time, formed by breccia and earthenware. And here stands the former Cathedral of San Donato dating back to the 8th century AD but later modified, to the point that today looks like a classic cathedral of the 500.

Continuing the visit you can admire alleys, arches, courtyards, squares and buildings in medieval style. On our last visit, we noted with pleasure the presence of ancient artisan shops where you can enter and follow the work done with the techniques of the past.

Civita di Bagnoregio
Civita di Bagnoregio

Events in Civita di Bagnoregio

From the Cathedral of San Donato, on the evening of Good Friday preceding Easter, a religious procession goes out, carrying a precious wooden sculpture of a fifteenth-century crucifix (to which the tradition attributes some miracles) from Civita to Bagnoregio. Tradition has it that the crucifix re-enters the church by midnight on Friday, otherwise it becomes the property of Bagnoregio.

Another evocative event that takes place in the Piazza di San Donato is the “Palio della Tonna“, an event of medieval origin that sees knights competing in the race of the ring. The appointment for this event is usually in June.

The Cave of San Bonaventura

For lovers of religious tours, Civita di Bagnoregio offers the opportunity to visit the evocative “Grotta di San Bonaventura“, an Etruscan chamber tomb overhanging the surrounding valleys. San Bonaventura, as a child, was healed of a deadly disease by St. Francis of Assisi. This is why he subsequently chose the life of the Franciscan friar.

Curiosity

Origins: Civita di Bagnoregio was chosen as a settlement since ancient times due to the abundance of water in the area. The Etruscans made it an important commercial hub while the Romans started and concluded the works of canalization of rainwater and containment of streams. This, together with regular maintenance works, made sure that the spur on which the town stands, was not subject to erosion.

Erosion: Subsequently, Civita di Bagnoregio was subject to different dominations; those of the Goths, the Byzantines, the Lombards, Charlemagne and finally the church. Meanwhile, the water maintenance works promptly carried out by the Romans, were no longer carried out and this, in conjunction with the wild deforestation to earn “land” to grow, started the erosion process that will cause structural disruption of the spur with the consequent collapses of the areas on its margins.

The bridge: The concrete bridge that currently connects Civita di Bagnoregio to the “mainland” is from the second half of the 60s. Initially the original bridge was built of bricks, but during the Second World War, it was destroyed by German troops. It was then rebuilt in a non-optimal, so much so that in 1964 it collapsed even before the inauguration due to an earthquake. After the construction of the current bridge, works began to support the cliff to stop the erosion.

What to see near Civita di Bagnoregio

The area of ​​Viterbo in which Civita di Bagnoregio rises is full of beautiful places to visit. From here you can easily reach places like Orvieto, the Park of the Monsters of Bomarzo, the characteristic medieval villages of Lubriano and Civitella d’Agliano, Bolsena and the lake of the same name.

For organized tours in Civita di Bagnoregio and the surrounding areas you can contact us or book one of our tours around Rome. To know the activities to do around Rome, look at the Tour of the Roman countryside.