Lately, we hear a lot about it, and many have visited it. There are videos and photos on social media and blogs in quantity, but nothing to do with the experience of really visiting it.
Civita di Bagnoregio has been included in the list of the most beautiful villages in Italy and has Etruscan origins. It was built over 2500 years ago, and while it now has only 11 inhabitants, it was once a very populated city. In 1600 it was almost destroyed by a powerful earthquake. Rebuilt several times, now, the banks of clay that support the village, suffering from a sudden erosion, which makes them fear the worst.
We, returning from our detailed itinerary in Val d’Orcia, have stretched to Chianciano, spent a night at the hotel and did not want to go home. We have a free day, and the idea is to visit something beautiful, unique. Let’s think immediately about Civita di Bagnoregio. At the bottom, we are 70 km away. Well, it’s decided! Wake up at eight and go to Orvieto. We leave the highway and if you are without a navigator, don’t worry, there are many indications for Civita di Bagnoregio.
Where to park in Bagnoregio
It’s Monday so there shouldn’t be so much crowd, but we’re wrong. We arrive in the territory of the Municipality of Bagnoregio and all the parking lots near the beginning of the path for Civita are already full. The rest is August. We ask the Municipal Police for directions, indicating a reasonably large car park, about 1.5 km from the bridge, a paid parking lot, also useful for campers. He informs us that there are free shuttles that take us to the beginning of the journey. Well. We park in the shade (marked in green on the map). We pay 6 euros to stay for just over 4 hours.
There are no indications for the bus above or shuttle, but we do not mind walking. We are in the “trekking” mode, and we go on foot.
We pass through the town center and take some pictures, but it’s hot, terribly hot. We arrive at the entrance to the pedestrian path that will take us to the village. The view is gorgeous. Civita is there in front of us, only the modern pedestrian bridge that connects the town to the Municipality of Bagnoregio separates us.
Civita di Bagnoregio: our story
There are no cars in Civita di Bagnoregio. The pedestrian path and entry into the city is allowed only after purchasing the entry ticket, equal to 5 euros per person, which are used for the continuous maintenance of this beautiful site.
In the past access to the city was guaranteed by five doors; nowadays, access is exclusively from ” Porta Santa Maria ” or “Porta Della Cava.” There are many tourists. Many. Too many. And it’s on Monday. We dare not think how crowded it is on Saturday and Sunday.
After a journey of about 400 meters, we arrived. We are exhausted. The final climb and the heat have crushed us. We drank a lot of water along the way, but once we arrived, we were thirsty again.
We enter from Porta Santa Maria and immediately we are sucked into a favorable climate. Tourists are satisfied with the visit to the village and the splendid view of the Parco dei Calanchi. We pass in front of the Frane Geological Museum, but we don’t have time to visit it. We do not know if we will be able to visit everything in 3 hours and even have a snack before returning to the parking lot, under the sun of 2 pm.
Church of San Donato
We stop for some outdoor photos, and we realize that it is not so simple .. there are too many people.
The town church is in Romanesque style, of peach-pink color. It has been restored several times over the years. It is located in the main square and gathers visitors from all over the world. Inside there are the wooden SS Crocefisso, of the school of Donatello, and a fresco of Perugino’s school.
Where and what to eat
The village is kept very well, indeed. The houses are impeccable, and the streets are spotless: you know the saying, “here you can eat on the floor?” Here in Civita di Bagnoregio, you can do it!
We continue our visit and note that there are many open businesses. From inns, trattorias, taverns, restaurants, wine bars, in short, everything leads to an end-gastronomic tour. We find out about the typical dish of the village, and we are told that the main dish is the fettuccine seasoned with the chicken interior sauce. We pass.
We stop to eat in a cool place that is not far from the entrance to the village. The restaurant is called “Arianna’s cellar”. We took a first course and a platter of cold cuts and cheeses — good ravioli, seasoned with tomato cream, pesto, and salted ricotta flakes. The cutting board, however, which we thought was the main course, disappointed us a little. A typical white ceramic dish, with a jam of berries in the center, three slices of peach laid on a thick-cut ham, a bit too tasty. Traditional salami not overly homemade and not exceptional cheeses. The right and proportionate bill, but no “wow effect.” Staff a little distracted and discontinuous, but a positive experience anyway. Surely the first ones deserve.
Location from film
Finally, Civita di Bagnoregio can also be considered a film location. Not everyone knows that several movies were shot here. The first was in 1962 when Steno filmed ” I due Colonnelli.”
In 2008 Alberto Sironi runs for RAI the drama “Pinocchio” and in 2018 the director Alessandro Genovesi chooses Civita for his “You can kiss the groom” . Finally, we also point out the village strongly influenced Aiyao Miyazaki for the realization of the famous film: ” Laputa, the castle in the sky.”
Tips and tricks
We recommend visiting this beautiful village in less sultry times. We believe that spring is the best time to enjoy this beautiful postcard called Civita di Bagnoregio fully.