Text by Caterina Sbrana, photos by Fabrizio Sbrana.
Dear readers, this time I’ll take you to a village that I consider an authentic open-air museum, where alleys, palaces, small squares and the bell tower tell us of a distant past in an extraordinary valley surrounded by gullies. When arriving at Civita, indications inform us that it is possible to download for free an APP that is a guide for the village, which I of course immediately did.
The APP has a commercial section with information about restaurants, farmhouses, pizzerias etc..; it begins with a tourist guide about Civita of Bagnoregio and Bagnoregio. We are in the Lazio region, in the province of Viterbo. I wrote that it is an open-air museum: Civita dates back to 2500 years ago, when the Etruscans settled here. Porta di Santa Maria is the only door left. Someone thinks the original doors were five, someone else thinks there were two doors in origin. Porta Santa Maria allows us to enter the village after having passed a long walkway suspended over the valley. In the guide we can read “ The Etruscans made Civita (of which we do not know the ancient name) a thriving city, favoured by the strategic position for trade due to the proximity to the most important communication routes of the time”.
I suggest you read the first part of the guide, that contains historical information about the village, on your smartphone before you go up, before crossing the pedestrian bridge that was built in 1965. I say this because, while climbing, it is better not to take your eyes off the view of the village and the surrounding valley that offer breathtaking views. With the help of the APP we discover the history of the village, why Porta Cava has become Porta Santa Maria, the domination of the Lombards, the struggles between Guelphs and Ghibellines, the history of the church of San Donato.
An interactive map shows us the most interesting places: the house of San Bonaventura, the museum of landslides, the Chapel of the Madonna del Carcere.
From the APP you can buy the ticket to Civita, enter a Live Chat in which the virtual assistant “Napoleon” offers you a choice of 104 languages (marked with flags) to give you directions, discover events, read the latest news. Also, activing the GPS device, the APP follows you one step after the other and leads you to the point where you want to go, especially allowing you to plan your tour from home.
A museum that lives, a place of extraordinary beauty, a discreet APP that take us on a beautiful tour.
Website and info: https://www.civitadibagnoregio.cloud/scarica-lapp-civita-di-bagnoregio/