Civita di Bagnoregio is a town in the Province of Viterbo in central Italy, a suburb of the comune of Bagnoregio, 1 kilometre (0.6 mi) east from it. It is about 120 kilometres (75 mi) north of Rome. The only access is a footbridge from the nearby town, with a toll introduced in 2013. Due to the toll, communal taxes were abolished in Civita and nearby Bagnoregio.
The town is noted for its striking position on top of a plateau of friable volcanic tuff overlooking the Tiber river valley. It is in constant danger of destruction as the edges of the plateau collapse due to erosion, leaving the buildings to crumble as their underlying support falls away. As of 2004, there were plans to reinforce the plateau with steel rods to prevent further geological damage.
The city is also much admired for its architecture spanning several hundred years. Civita di Bagnoregio owes much of its unaltered condition to its relative isolation; the town was able to withstand most intrusions of modernity as well as the destruction brought by two world wars. The population today is 11 people, but due to a healthy amount of bed-and-breakfasts the village gets busy in the summer months.
The town was placed on the World Monuments Fund’s 2006 Watch List of the 100 Most Endangered Sites, because of threats it faces from erosion and unregulated tourism.
- Giuffrida, Angela (August 19, 2017), What brought Italy’s ‘dying town’ back from the edge of extinction? A tourist toll, The Guardian, retrieved January 20, 2020
- Buckley, Julia (January 16, 2020), Inside the Italian town that charges tourists an entry fee, CNN, retrieved January 20, 2020