Past Italia! Cività di Bagnoregio

Marooned like a tiny island on an outcrop of crumbling volcanic rock, the once-thriving settlement of Cività di Bagnoregio in Lazio clings to a perilous existence


When you catch sight of its precarious position today, it is hard to imagine that Cività di Bagnoregio was once a large, thriving Etruscan city situated on a wide fertile plateau. It’s only link to the outside world is a steep footbridge which climbs the valley slopes and leads to the assortment of buildings and remains that have withstood the ravages of time. Victim of central Italy’s unstable geology, the town has endured centuries of seismic activity which has literally chipped away at its edges, dramatically eroding the soft, friable tufa or volcanic rock on which it stands and sending it cascading into the valley below. Once home to thousands, only 12 residents remain, although curious tourists who come to marvel the town’s unique battle with the forces of nature swell the numbers, especially in summer.