Province of Viterbo, Italy
Civita di Bagnoregio is a stunning little hillside town that looks almost unreal, like a setting from ‘Lord of the rings’. It is an artists dream, perched high above where ivy drapes across the stone walls and pots of flowers spread across balconies. Each turn is a surprise that follows subtle charm around every ally. This little gem is less known than Siena or Assisi, but totally worth that hike along the foot bridge that is the only way into the town. Even supplies are carried in on mopeds. It feels like every wall tells a story, the architecture screams of honesty as each flaw becomes a beauty that has historic rarity. There is a past that locals are very proud of or what is left of it as the erosion of the edges creates a constant danger of collapsing the core of the town.
After hiking up the steep bridge and testing our physical condition, we are greeted with a huge Romanesque arch that we pass through into a secret garden. We step back into the middle ages, where the presence is felt in the old walls and along the smooth cobblestones under my feet that is only created with time. It is rich in culture that echos the sounds of rural Italy to a 100 years back. It is beautiful with its perfect imperfections and I can’t stop admiring the old buildings and details that are promptly taken care of. It has survived both world wars and with its isolation it has kept away from urban modernism. Civita is a quiet little town, where apparently the young locals have moved away to more easier metropolitan centres and these days it is more of a weekend getaway for the wealthy urbanites.
We sit in the main piazza for a cup of coffee and watch people pass by with a slow lifestyle mindset. Here they gather at the end of the day, children play until it gets dark and crickets chirp in the background. It is amazing that this place remains as it is, unspoiled by modernism and technology. Here people still connect with each other in a way other than social media and there is an appreciation for what they have due to the living circumstances. It is admirable, humbling and a town worth experiencing.