Civita di Bagnoregio is the fraction that has only about ten inhabitants in the municipality of Bagnoregio, in the province of Viterbo. Thanks to its uniqueness it is part of the club of the most beautiful villages in Italy, which aims to enhance the charm of hidden Italy. In fact, this small village is in an isolated position reachable only via a pedestrian bridge made of reinforced concrete and about 300 meters long.
The town of Civita is also known by the name of "the city that dies", this is because the continuous crumbling of the cliff on which it stands and the progressive erosion of the valley that surrounds it, caused by atmospheric agents and earthquakes, unfortunately endanger the existence of the fraction. From 2013 access to borgo has become paid, just to try to preserve it as much as possible using the proceeds for the restoration and maintenance works (€ 3,00 during the week, € 5,00 at the weekend).
Here's how to get there, what to see and where to eat in Civita di Bagnoregio.
- 10 things to see in Civita di Bagnoregio
- What to see in Civita di Bagnoregio in one day: recommended itinerary
- Where to eat in Civita di Bagnoregio: the best restaurants
- Plan your stay in Civita di Bagnoregio: info and useful tips
- User questions and comments
10 things to see in Civita di Bagnoregio
1 - Porta Santa Maria
Entering the city center of Civita di Bagnoregio is the first important monument you will come across. The door is surmounted by a pair of stone lions holding in their claws two human heads, placed as a symbol of the victorious popular revolt that the inhabitants of Bagnore had against the Monaldeschi family, lords of Orvieto. In fact, in the th century the Monaldeschi of Orvieto tried to establish their control over the city, with the intention of keeping it as a Guelph garrison in the clashes with the Ghibellines of Viterbo.
- it is the only access to the hamlet, crossing the pedestrian bridge from Bagnoregio - Get directions
- always accessible
2 - Church of San Donato
Proceeding further from the entrance to the town, the main square where the absence of the flooring gives it a real medieval look with a mixture of red earth and gravel.
Here is the Romanesque church of San Donato, remodeled in the 1499th century. Inside there is a fresco from the school of Perugino and a wonderful fifteenth-century wooden crucifix considered miraculous, in fact it is said that during the plague of , the crucifix spoke to a woman reassuring her about the imminent end of the plague.
- from Porta Santa Maria in 1 minute on foot - Get directions
- every day 10: 00-18: 00
3 - Geological and Landslides Museum
It is a small but interesting museum that will allow you to understand what is happening to the cliff on which the village stands, and therefore the reason for the reputation of "dying country".
It also tells the story of the country, its characteristics and its evolution over time, but most of all the struggle for its survival threatened by landslides and earthquakes. The museum organizes guided tours, excursions, educational activities and even tastings of the excellent local wines.
- walk from Porta Santa Maria in 1 minute - Get directions
- from June to August from Tuesday to Sunday 9: 30-13: 30/14: 00-18: 30. From September to May from Friday to Sunday 10: 00-13: 30/14: 00-17: 30
4 - Grotto of San Bonaventura
The Grotta di San Bonaventura is a 'ancient Etruscan tomb dug into the tuff, which you can visit by taking the stairs next to the Belvedere. It takes its name from San Bonaventura di Bagnoregio, considered one of the most important biographers of San Francesco d'Assisi. According to tradition, in this cave, the adolescent philosopher, born Giovanni Fidanza, was miraculously cured of a serious illness after his mother had invoked Francis of Assisi. It was precisely for this event that he chose to enter the Franciscan Order by taking the name of Bonaventura, in memory of the words in Latin that St. Francis said to him after his recovery, or "bona ventura".
- taking the stairs next to the Belvedere - Get directions
- always accessible
5 - The Belvedere
This panoramic point marks the end of the historic center of Bagnoregio and the beginning of the hamlet of Civita, from which the narrow pedestrian bridge then starts. It is the right place to stop for admire the village from afar, with its unique and beautiful demographic position, and the medieval houses that stand out and seem to be born directly from the earth. You can also see the cracks in the sides of the gullies, the base of which is made up of clay of marine origin which continues to be damaged slowly by the continuous action of rain and winds.
- from Porta Santa Maria along Via Bonaventura Tecchi for 1 km - Get directions
- always accessible
6 - Porta Albana
It takes its name from Cardinal Giovanni Girolamo Albani Perpetual Governor of Bagnoregio, who had it built and then inaugurated in 1589. It is the only gateway to the city, originally it was located about ten meters to the east, in 1906 the engineer Torquato Cristofori suggested moving it about 10 meters to the west to give more width to the Largo di Porta Albana behind it, and at the same time more convenient access. Memory of this project was left in a marble epigraph located in the back of the door.
- 3 km from Porta Santa Maria, 25 min on foot, it is located at the end of Via Roma - Get directions
- always accessible
7 - Cathedral of Saints Nicola, Donato and Bonaventura
The cathedral was built on an area where there was an ancient church dating back perhaps to 440. The modernization works ended in 1606, on 4 August of that year it was officially opened for worship and dedicated to San Nicola di Bari. of the violent earthquake of June 1695, the cathedral of San Donato was severely hit and then the Holy See decided to transfer it to the collegiate church of San Nicola. In 1700, after the embellishment works, it was again consecrated and dedicated to the two Saints Nicola and Donato. Others have since been executed numerous restoration works, the last of which in 1779, following which it was also consecrated to San Bonaventura.
All the work carried out was left in memory in the large walled marble epigraph visible to the right of those who enter, under the choir loft. Inside are kept objects of great value such as a parchment bible probably belonging to San Bonaventura, and a reliquary made of gold and silver containing the bones of the arm of San Bonaventura.
- along via Roma, 800 meters before Porta Albana - Get directions
- 10:00AM - 18:00PM
8 - Church of the Annunziata
The Romanesque-Gothic church is flanked by a slender bell tower from 1735 and inside is rich in paintings attributed to Taddeo di Bartolo and Giovanni di Paolo. Near the building there is a cloister built in 1524 entirely in terracotta on a project by the architect Michele Sanmicheli.
The church is dedicated to Maria Santissima Annunziata, although it is commonly called Sant'Agostino but only for the presence, nearby, of the ancient Augustinian convent.
- from Porta Albana in 9 minutes on foot taking Corso Mazzini - Get directions
- 10:00AM - 18:00PM
9 - The noble palaces
The low houses with their flowered balconies and the stairs that go up to the doors make the village of Civita di Bagnoregio a real attraction. But there are some buildings that stand out and stand out, and these are the Renaissance palaces of the Colesanti and the Alemanni palace, you can see them by visiting the main square of the town, Piazza San Donato.
The second structure, the Alemanni palace, is the one that now houses the Geological and Landslides Museum.
- from Porta Santa Maria on foot in 1 minute - Get directions
- the Colesanti palace is not accessible, the Alemanni palace respects the museum opening hours
10 - Poet's Garden
You will find yourself right on the tip at the bottom of the village overlooking the valley of the badlands, is an enchanted place where you can enjoy a beautiful view over the whole valley.
This place is private but open to the public, and admission is also free but an offer as a contribution for its maintenance is welcome, otherwise you can also make a purchase in the small shop inside it which sells typical organic products of Tuscia.
- from Porta Santa Maria on foot in 5 minutes - Get directions
- always accessible
What to see in Civita di Bagnoregio in one day: recommended itinerary
Once in Bagnoregio, you can leave your car in the parking area made available at the gates of Civita, have breakfast at Caffè Belvedere. From here it will be convenient to visit the Belvedere and the Grotto of San Bonaventura then walk towards Civita di Bagnoregio crossing the famous pedestrian bridge, the only way to access the village, we remind you that the entrance is subject to a fee.
As soon as you enter the town you will cross Porta Santa Maria and continuing you will arrive in San Donato square, the main square where the Renaissance palaces are located and the Church of San Donato. If you continue walking along the characteristic streets, you will reach the Poet's Garden, the most extreme point of Civita from which you can see a breathtaking view of the valley of the badlands and maybe buy some typical products.
For lunch, returning to the town center, stop by Alma Civita (average cost € 35,00 per person). In the afternoon make a stop at Geological and Landslides Museum, located inside the Alemanni palace, is really worth the visit to understand what is happening in the village. After enjoying a little more the streets of the village, you can reach the town of Bagnoregio and visit the important Cathedral of Saints Nicola, Donato and Bonaventura.
Here, in the town center, a stone's throw from Porta Albana, stop for dinner at Il Bocconcino (average cost per person € 30,00 per person).
One day itinerary at a glance
- Breakfast at Caffè Belvedere (Get directions)
- The Belvedere and Grotta di San Bonaventura
- Church of San Donato (10: 00-18: 00)
- Poet's Garden
- Lunch at Alma Civita (Get directions)
- Geological and Landslides Museum (in summer Tue-Sun 9: 30-13: 30/14: 00-18: 30; winter Fri-Sun 10: 00-13: 30/14: 00-17: 30
- Cathedral of Saints Nicola, Donato and Bonaventura (10: 00-18: 00)
- Dinner at Il Bocconcino (Get directions)
Where to eat in Civita di Bagnoregio: the best restaurants
- Alma Civita: dishes and wines of the Tuscia area served in a rustic-modern room with a room in a tuff cave
Average price per person: € 35,00
Address and contacts: Via della Provvidenza, Via Madonna della Maestà / tel: 0761 792415
- Osteria al Forno di Agnese: typical cuisine based on soups, first casarecci and meat dishes in a 1968 restaurant with tuff walls and wooden ceiling
Average price per person: € 25,00
Address and contacts: Via Santa Maria del Cassero / tel: 0761 792571
- The Cellar of Arianna: restaurant where you can taste the typical dishes of the area, from local wines to exquisite meat
Average price per person: € 30,00
Address and contacts: Via Madonna della Maestà, 121 / tel: 0761 793270
Plan your stay in Civita di Bagnoregio: info and useful tips
- on foot from the town of Bagnoregio, which you can reach by car from Rome in an hour and a half along the A1, exiting at the Orvieto tollbooth and continuing to Castiglione Teverina following the signs for Bagnoregio
- Getting around: the only way is on foot
- Where to park: the parking area on the outskirts of Civita costs € 2,00 / h and then € 1,00 for each subsequent hour, the daily rate is € 6,00
- Hotel and b & b starting from € 40,00 per room -
- What to see in the surroundings: Bolsena (14 km), Montefiascone (14 km), Orvieto (20 km), Viterbo (28 km)