CIVITA DI BAGNOREGIO
You know how it is when you live somewhere yet somehow never manage to get around to visiting the sites that area is famous for? When we moved to Italy in 2003 we thought we'd be travelling around the country, taking day trips, long weekends and extended trips all over the boot, but then the dollar took a dive. Someone once asked why we didn't go to Florence on the train more often, but it's €10 - per person - each way --- €40. At today's rate that equals $54, and quite often it's been even more than that, which of course affects where we travel, and how long we stay. Last fall we had a big splurge and not only took the train to Florence but even spent the night! That trip was make possible because in September we'd been hosts and guides for a visitor from the states.
Umbria certainly has a lot to see, and even a drive to nowhere is spectacularly beautiful so we haven't minded too much. Still, there are places we keep meaning to go and somehow just never get there. Living here is completely different than being here as a tourist. As tourists we'd have a general plan, and a list of sites and cities we wanted to see, but living here decreases your sense of urgency, and there are just so many places we keep saying we want to visit. One of those places is Civita di Bagnoregio, a tiny village located just south of Orvieto. When Art asked what I'd like to do for our anniversay I said "Let's go to Civita di Bagnoregio!"
One website I read suggested that the easiest way to get to Civita di Bagnoregio was to get on the AI, but I knew that wouldn't be the route we'd want to take. A quick map search showed us that all we had to do was drive towards Orvieto on the SS317, then once we got to the big roundabout, instead of turning left to go up into Orvieto, we'd continue straight. Just before the old monastery that's now a hotel we took a left and gradually climbed up into the hills. The drive was beautiful - lined with vineyards - probably for all that Orvieto Classico!
We learned the hard way that you can very easily drive throught town and park right at the foot of the bridge leading up to the old town, but having been caught more than once in a very tight spot in an unfamiliar medieval town, we parked in the large parking lot just outside of town and had a nice stroll before getting our first view of Civita di Bagnoregio.
The earth bridge that once connected the old part of town to the new part has long ago been washed away with the help of earthquakes and erosion, so now the only way to reach the old city is via a long footbridge. It was a Saturday and the town was full of Italian tourists who, like us, were fascintated with the town and the scenery.
I've read that there are about 16 residents in Civita di Bagnoregio, but there's a bar, and a restaurant, and even a small hotel here, hopefully generating enough income to keep the town from crumbling away any more.
After our visit we drove to nearby Lubriano for lunch at il Vecchio Mulino, and hoping for a table with a view of Civita di Bagnoregio, but the terrace wasn't open for the season, so we settled for enjoying our meal inside. We shared several dishes, and with the exception of the ribollita, which I didn't care for, everything was delicious.
The drive back was as beautiful and relaxing as it had been that morning. If you're ever in the area, a visit to Civita di Bagnoregio is worth a stop.
Labels: Civita di Bagnoregio