What to see in Civita di Bagnoregio, itinerary including the main monuments and places of interest, including the Church of San Donato, the Geological and Landslide Museum.
Located in Lazio, in the province of Viterbo, the charming village of Civita Bagnoregio stands isolated on a spur of tufa rock, reachable only from Bagnoregio, via a reinforced concrete bridge, about 300 meters long and accessible only on foot, inaugurated in 1965 after the previous brick arch bridge had been destroyed by bombing in 1944 during the Second World War.
Civita Bagnoregio has become famous for being nicknamed as "the city that dies", as its main peculiarity is the precariousness of the ground on which it is based, formed by a tuff spur placed on a clayey layer subject to weathering erosion and the two streams that flow into the valleys below, Rio Chiaro and Rio Torbido.
Landslides and collapses cause a progressive subsidence of the cliff, putting at risk the ancient settlement which, surrounded by the suggestive landscape of the clay gullies, rises solitary on the abyss.
The origin of the name of Bagnoregio, most likely, derives from the presence of thermal waters in the territory.
The village, inhabited by a few people, is accessed from Porta Santa Maria, which remained the only entrance after the 1695 earthquake.
Through the homonymous street you reach the main square, where the Church of San Donato stands, located in front of the ancient Palazzo Comunale and Palazzo Alemanni, home of the Geological Museum and landslides, which helps to understand the history and the current situation of Civita.
The houses with balconies and external staircases called profferli, typical of medieval Viterbo architecture, overlook the alleys and courtyards of this incomparable historic center.
The nearby Bagnoregio is rich in valuable architecture, including the Renaissance Porta Albana, the cathedral of San Nicola, where the relics of San Bonaventura are kept, the Romanesque-Gothic church of the Annunziata, with the adjacent cloister, built on a project by Michele Sanmicheli.
Giovanni Fidanza was born in Civita di Bagnoregio in 1217, bishop and doctor of the Church, belonging to the order of Franciscan Friars with the name of Fra Bonaventura.
From the Belvedere of San Francesco Vecchio, what remains of the old Convent of San Francesco is a cave called Grotta di San Bonaventura, where according to tradition the boy Giovanni Fidanza was miraculously healed through the intercession of San Francesco.Recommended readings
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In Civita, a newsstand reminds us of the place where the Casa di San Bonaventura was located, in addition there is a cave which can be accessed via an iron staircase suspended in space.
The stones of the house were collected and transported to the new Convent of San Francesco, for the construction of a small temple in his honor.