Each year, 350,000 tourists purchase the ticket (€1.50) to cross the long, modern concrete bridge leading to the ancient village, which was founded 2,500 years ago by Etruscans. Later, during the Middle Ages, Civita di Bagnoregio (Viterbo) was the home of Saint Bonaventura, a cardinal, philosopher, and theologian worshipped by Pope Benedict XVI.
The population of the city declined over the years due mostly to the particular morphology of the clay rock, which is prone to landslides and erosion. However, in recent times Civita di Bagnoregio has experienced a much-deserved renaissance, thanks in large part to clever marketing strategies, the use of the ancient center as a set for films, and the attention Civita has received from the international press. The city also inspired Laputa, the castle in the sky, the famous cartoon by celebrated Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki. For this reason, thousands of Japanese tourists come to explore “the enchanted city”.
For these reasons and more, visiting Civita di Bagnoregio is a unique and magical experience. Included in the list of “most beautiful villages in Italy”, in recent times many celebrities have purchased homes and have contributed to campaigns to save the historic center from erosion. If you do visit Civita, you must absolutely see the San Bonaventura cave, an ancient cavern dug from an overhanging cliff of volcanic stone, originally used as a tomb but later served as a hermitage in the Middle Ages.