“Civita di Bagnoregio: An Italian Hilltown” | by Rick Steves’ Europe
People who’ve been there say “Civita” (chee-VEE-tah) with warmth and love. This precious chip of Italy, a traffic-free community with a grow-it-in-the-valley economy, has so far escaped the ravages of modernity. Please approach it with the same respect and sensitivity you would see a dying relative, because — in a sense — that’s Civita.
Entering the town through a cut in the rock made by Etruscans 2,500 years ago, and heading under a 12th-century Romanesque arch, you feel history in the huge, smooth cobblestones. This was once the main Etruscan road leading to the Tiber Valley and Rome.
Today, Civita’s social pie has three slices: the aging, full-time residents; rich, big-city Italians who are slowly buying up the place for their country escape (a blue-blooded “Marchesa” owns the house next to the town gate — and Civita’s first hot tub); and visitors enjoying la dolcezza di fare niente (the sweetness of doing nothing). Buoyed by my writing and exposure in German and French travel magazines, Civita can see up to 200 tourists a day on summer weekends. In summer, visit on a weekday. …………
Rick Steves’ introduction is superb. Please read in full »