Civita di Bagnoregio
The ‘Dying City’ is one of Tuscany’s most popular tourist destinations and one of Italy’s most evocative sights. It’s perched on a tiny cliff with jaw-dropping valleys all around it and connected to the mainland by one very long and very narrow bridge.
It’s the sort of thing you’d expect of an Indiana Jones movie and it won’t be around forever. Civita di Bagnoregio has had problems with cliff erosion since as far back as the Roman Empire. It is more than 2,500 years old and will one day completely crumble into the valley below.
These days, very few people actually live in the village. This is partly due to the erosion and partly due extreme isolation. That said, the lack of locals and complete lack of modernity makes Civita di Bagnoregio a beautifully preserved, if somewhat surreal, opportunity to see Italy of the Middle Ages.
There aren’t any defined monuments in Civita di Bagnoregio. The destination is the sort of thing you soak up on an enjoyable day trip wandering the streets gelato in hand and mouth indecorously open as you admire the view and homes in awe.
Of the medieval architecture that remains, the Chiesa di San Donato in the main piazza is mildly beautiful. You can also admire the exterior of the birthplace of Saint Bonaventure, an Italian medieval Franciscan and philosopher. Civita di Bagnoregio is considered one of Italy’s most beautiful villages and so a €1.50 entry fee is charged. The walk into the town can be harrowing, especially for the elderly and those afraid of heights, so bear that in mind before visiting.