Civita di Bagnoregio – a medieval castle city, a ghost town
One of the most unusual places is Civita di Bagnoregio – a medieval castle town, a ghost town with a picturesque location, is located on the top of a hill between valleys, and you can get there only by a footbridge, about 300 meters long.
Civita di Bagnoregio (Civita di Bagnoregio) – is located in the region of Lazio, a province of the city of Viterbo, about 140 km from Rome. The city was founded more than two and a half thousand years ago by the Etruscans. The settlement existed during the times of antiquity and the Middle Ages, but in 1695 an unusually strong earthquake broke out in this area, which destroyed many buildings, and landslides and landslides literally cut the city off from the rest of the world. Therefore, the survivors were forced to descend and settle in the village of Bagnoregio.
We leave the taxi, go a little towards Civita, get to the observation deck next to the grotto named after St. Bonaventure. There are chic views of the city and the purpose of our trip.
Civita di Bagnoregio – a medieval castle city, a ghost town
Then the city, which appeared on the top of the rock, was called “Dead City” or “La citta che muore” (City that dies). The isolation of the city is a consequence of insuperable erosion, due to which the loose tuff layer gradually deteriorates. The course of subsequent earthquakes and landslides provoked by them continued to cause irreparable damage, threatening the inhabitants with complete isolation. From that moment, the permanent migration of citizens to other lands began, condemning Civita di Bagnoregio to desolation and slow death.
Let’s look closer to the city.
The pedestrian bridge connects Civita di Bagnoredgio and Bagnoredgio, which have now become two different cities. From the documents of the Middle Ages it is known that Civita and Bagnoregio were two quarters of one city, which until the eleventh century was called Balneum Regis. In the 18th century, between these two cities stood the monastery of St. Francis.
Wind and rain destroy the ground. Since 1854, the city has already dropped by twenty-five meters, and is still down several centimeters per year.
This way will lead us to the trans-shipment point where the road ends and the pedestrian bridge to Civita begins.
Now the number of permanent residents of Civita on different sources is about 14 to 18 people. In the summer time – certainly more. Medieval forgotten city, connected with modernity by a long bridge (built in 1965), is popular with tourists. It is tourists who pass a pedestrian bridge that is three hundred meters long, do not let life in these parts go out. And landslides do not stop the absorption of the outskirts of the city.
There are several cafes, a tourist store and an unknown monument to a girl with a bird on her shoulder.
In general, and in Bagnoregio, and in Chivite – a huge number of cats and cats. They are basking in the sun, warming themselves on the roofs, lying on benches and strolling about the streets.
We begin our ascent of the hill on the footbridge.
On the way, do not forget to enjoy the most beautiful views around and on steep slopes of tuff. A frame in the direction of the north-west of the city. Many small villages, gardens and plots.
The slope is quite large, climbing uphill, soon the first walls of the houses begin to fall in sight.
Look at the south-east, the views are simply gorgeous. By the way, with the sunny weather we were unlucky, but the cloudy sky added a special color to the landscape.
The road turns somewhat, we notice a pair of brave bright lions standing “guarded” by someone’s private plot, almost right on the edge of the hill.
It is possible to get into the city only through the only gate of Santa Maria, squeezed between two houses.
Inside the arch you can see a beautiful sign with the name of the street.
It is worth paying attention to the stone figures of lions on either side of the gate, pinned by the paws of human heads. Strange plot.
The stone houses closely cling to each other, the narrow streets diverge like rays from the central square and are whimsically wrapped to rocky cliffs.
The city has preserved its appearance almost completely, here you do not feel the course of time at all. Moreover, it seems that you are being transferred to the past.
A lot of arches, walls and stairs, twined with dried ivy creepers. It looks very colorful.
The city simply drowns in flowers. We went in the spring, but there were already a lot of different flowers and plants, in the summer they will be just the sea.
Some houses are abandoned, but they do not stand wide, but are closed. For example, on the gates of one building we found a beautiful door knocker in the form of a lion’s head. Similar in general are quite common in Italy.
On narrow ancient streets, where time stopped more than three hundred years ago, tourists like us go for a walk, but their number is insanely small compared to famous sights in Rome, Venice and Florence. Basically, you see such a picture, especially if you leave the main street to the side.
And here are representatives of the local flora – these are, most likely, local daisies.
Landscapes of the city calm and tune to philosophical thoughts. I do not want to hurry anywhere. We, in turn, realized that we were late for the last bus from Bagnoregio to Orvieto and decided to enjoy the forgotten city in plenty.
On the main square of Civita in the center stands the church of San Donato. She is about a thousand years old, and before her in this place there was also a church. It was already late, so did not go inside.
On the way we met such a courtyard. Nice and cozy.
Let’s look at the colors closer. By the way, I do not know what they are called, maybe one of the readers will tell?
We continue our walk along Chivite, the streets of the city do not cease to surprise us.
Pots of flowers are everywhere.
There are houses that were abandoned for a long time and are now a ruin. Basically they are on the edges of the city.
And here is a residential patio, two large ceramic pots in the foreground are not that old.
There are also such “interlacing” thickets on the walls.
Somewhere near this place was once the home of St. Bonaventure’s childhood, but then the house has already gone down due to one of the numerous landslides.
“Civita is the birthplace of Saint Bonaventure (by the father of Giovanni Fidenza), who died in 1274. From his early childhood Bonaventure was mystically connected with Saint Francis of Assisi. There is a legend that while still a child, he fell dangerously ill, and when the doctors despaired of his recovery, the mother turned to St. Francis of Assisi with prayer, thanks to which the boy recovered. After recovery, little Giovanni received a second name – Buona Ventura (child of happiness). Thus, since childhood he was under the blessing of St. Francis and, when the question of training was decided, the choice was predetermined by this event.
First he studied in the Franciscan monastery in his hometown. At the age of nineteen to twenty years he came to Paris and enrolled in the Faculty of Arts. Positive in all respects, Bonaventure became general of the Order of the Franciscans, cardinal, was canonized on April 14, 1482 in St. Peter’s Cathedral, and after another century, in 1587, Pope Sixtus V bullah “Triumphant Jerusalem” ranked him among the Masters of the Church. ”
Next, I decided to climb over a small fence and get to the beautiful viewing platform. It is located directly above the precipice, down the pretty spiral staircase.
Of course, I could not resist making personnel on the valley around. You can endlessly admire the views. Somewhere nearby the Tiber flows, and in the distance the tops of the mountains hide under the clouds …
Views of the valley, also in the frame fell a small lookout at an abandoned house, drowning in the greenery, from where I shot.
The city is actually quite small, but the streets are quite intricate and so cozy that walking is a pleasure.
The city has its own museum of local lore. Inside, I did not go, but he was visited by my girlfriend. There are a lot of different exhibits, but it’s pretty dark. Among other things, there is an old photograph of the city on which the former bridge is visible, and the new one has not been built yet.
On the streets of the city.
There are also old stone tablets, which require additional efforts to decipher the text.
On roofs of houses, as well as it is necessary, a shingles.
Soon one of the streets leads us to another viewing platform. Through the bushes and branches of oleander we will make a picture on the valley again.
An example of an abandoned house.
I love these pictures. Branches entangled the house and seemed to reach for the flashlight.
And such, too. The city has the purest air, there are no cars, no motorcycles, I have not even seen a single bicycle (although they ride on it by themselves).
In one of the courtyards you can see a trattoria, which is more than 500 years old.
As they write on the Internet, “And in the premises of the old mill, you can try the bruschetta – it’s toast with olive oil or with vegetable caviar – pepper, eggplant, beans. And homemade wine. This trattoria is 500 years old. The interior of the trattoria is preserved in the original, where you can see how olive oil was made in those days “. Unfortunately, when we passed, it was already late, and we did not get inside.
And here are the yellow daffodils.
Small lanterns on the background of ancient stone walls are also an integral attribute of local streets.
My favorite place in the city, the road goes down between two stone walls, and ahead of the hills and mountains.
We reach this point, it’s time to move back, otherwise it will be difficult to return to Orvieto and Rome.
When we return to the central square, it is already empty. Gradually begins to darken. And then they began to beat the clock on the bell tower. Something was special and unusual in this moment. There are no people, but the sound echoes through the deserted streets.
However, one cafe in the city turned out to be a worker, and we could not resist going inside and eating toast and trying limoncello. We sat at the old chimney, in the basement inside the former fireplace there was a cozyly decorated corner (?).
And here is a photo of the interiors of the restaurant. It is very small, but cozy. The most it is – to get warm and sit in a romantic atmosphere with your loved one.
And we leave this city, behind it there are deserted streets and old houses.
We leave in a thoughtful mood. A magical town, lost in the Italian outback and forgotten at the top of a high hill, like an island in the ocean.
Twilight comes and lights turn on. Alas, it is not enough, and it’s more difficult to film.
We return to Bagnoregio to the viewing platform and photograph Civita in twilight colors. A little later we learn that there is no taxi in Bagnoregio, and how to get to Orvieto is completely unclear.
I want to add that it was just a wonderful trip, memorable for life, a place just gorgeous.