Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Town I Was Dying To See

Civita di Bagnoregio was probably one of my favorite towns to visit in Italy. According to Rick Steves, it's a dying town. Dying because the long-time residents have either moved or passed on and there are only a year round residents left. Also dying because year after year, the wind and weather erodes the land on which it stands.
After you hike (and it's definitely a hike) up the very long foot bridge to the village, you enter it through a 2,500 year old Etruscan arch. I have never been this close to something that was 2,500 years old. It's a little hard to wrap your head around.
After passing through the arch, there was a small bottega (shop) where I bought the most delicious chocolate covered figs I'd ever eaten. It's also where I bought a few postcards showing the village when it had the original stone footbridge; at a time where donkeys were used to bring in supplies for the villagers.
The village was extremely quiet but beautifully tended. Homes and shops had flowers in clay pots outside doorways and on stairs, and the leaves on the vines were changing, a gorgeous mix of green and deep red.
We visited several shops, strolled through Maria's Garden and Ed even walked under the village through a tunnel that was carved over a thousand years ago. This village was on the top of my list of things to see, primarily because I wanted to visit it before it disappeared.

It wound up being a quick stop-off on our way to Rome. I wish we were able to spend more time and have lunch in one of the small restaurants that were open. One more thing to add to my "next time I go to Italy" list.

Read more about this fascinating village in
this New York Times article.

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