Sunday, June 5, 2011

Civita de Bagnoregio

Anyone who’s been to Civita falls in love with the place. It is a rustic town up an Italian hill where life is far from the complexities of modernity. Its population is down to 14 and the canyon where it is located is ruled by erosion which threatens to disconnect the town from the rest of the world.

Sixty miles from Rome, people can access the town by hiking from its sister town Bagnoregio. A Vespa travels back and forth to carry the goods. It used to be a donkey doing the deal with the father of the scooter driver tending the beast of burden.
A passage way through the rock was built by Etruscans 2500 years ago. You breathe in history as you enter the town passing a Roman Arch made of huge cobblestones. The Etruscans may have been great warriors but they were not too good when it comes to surveying lands.
Civita de Bagnoregio speaks for itself. Tourists are attracted by its quiet, genuine Italian life. The town invites people to come without a list of attractions or activities to boast. It is a haven for artists who want to retreat from city life and rediscover the beauty of his surroundings through the clouds, the stones, and the small town people.
You will notice that the cats are bigger than the human population in Civita. The younger generations have fled to follow cosmopolitan life. The people in Civita are the old, the rich who are buying lands for their escape, and tourists who want to enjoy the beauty of doing nothing.
At the center of the town is a church. It can be the most important spot of the place where processions starts and festivals kick off. Visit the church and see old art works, remnants of Saint Bonaventure, and dried flowers across the quiet place of worship.
Along the main street you will see a wine cellar owned by Rosanna and Antonio. They will be more than happy to serve you the best of local foods and show you around their cellar after a hearty meal.
Walk along the street and you will discover an old mill. Etruscan caves, and a local diner. The night is kept warm by the friendliness of the people and the sounds kids make while playing in the plaza.
Civita atop the hill is a great symbol of simple Italian life, but change is slowly creeping in.

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