To stay in Civita di Bagnoregio, the dying city: my experience

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I visited Civita di Bagnoregio for the first time 10 years ago. I was ill and I couldn’t walk much at the time, so I just enjoyed the view from the panoramic terrace. Last year I went back for Easter with Matteo and some friends. But we only stayed there for a couple of hours and again I couldn’t enjoy it in the best way, due to the number of tourists. So I made up my mind to go back again and visit it at a slower pace: my goal was to stay in Civita di Bagnoregio. “Non c’è due senza tre”, there is no two without a three. And this time I did it. 

Civita di Bagnoregio
Civita di Bagnoregio

Where to stay in Civita di Bagnoregio

Matteo and I booked via Booking a room called iRoom Civita and on the day we chose (a Wednesday) there was also a discount so we paid €90 instead of 100. The place is at the corner of the main piazza, overlooking the church. Luckily the bell doesn’t ring during the night. The place is not just a room actually, but consists of a kitchen with table and chairs, a bedroom with a small table and an ancient closet (which we didn’t use, for 1 night only we did not unpack) and a bathroom with shower and all things useful (hairdryer, shampoo, toilet paper, etc). Plus there was WiFi even if not impeccable (but it’s normal in a place like that).

To stay in Civita di Bagnoregio
To stay in Civita di Bagnoregio

This is not a collaboration FWI. But I thought that maybe someone would love to make this experience. I decided to publish the name of the place because it was nice and convenient. And the owners were really kind. They allowed us to get inside 1 hour in advance than the normal check-in hours. The lady was finishing her cleaning and I don’t know what I said at some point but she hugged me and she said: Civita is magical, you’ll see. I hope you’ll feel the magic of this village. And, she made my day. 

Breakfast is not included, but the owners left us some cantucci cookies in a jar in the kitchen and some “first aid” equipment (sugar, tea bags, oil, salt, jam, a water bottle in the fridge). We had a couple of those cantucci when we woke up the next morning but just to manage our hunger waiting for the square café to open (officially at 8.30 but actually at 8.50). 

Phto by IRoom
Phto by IRoom

Where to park if you stay in Civita

Close to the walkway, there’s a parking lot that costs €2 per hour. We used that last time when we visited the village for just 3 hours. But, if you stay in Civita, you’re granted a parking lot for free closer to the walkway (1 minute away), avoiding a stretch of the path (stairs). It is only open for the inhabitants and their tenants. Our landlord was so kind to meet us in the main square of Bagnoregio (the town close to Civita). With his car (we followed him with ours) he led us to the right parking space. He then gave us a permit we had to show on your car’s dash. So no parking costs. Plus, all those who stay in Civita don’t pay the tourist tax (€3-5, depending on the day). 

The luggage dilemma

We visited Civita after 3 other destinations on a road trip. We left home with 1 suitcase each. The night before this one, we packed all things for Civita and stuck them just in Matteo’s trolley (smaller than mine). We then left the other, bigger (mine) trolley in the car trunk together with other stuff (like spare shoes, dirty laundry, whatever). I know, it seems risky. In other parts of Italy, I wouldn’t do that but for the time being, I still put a lot of trust in little villages like this. In fact, nothing happened. Otherwise, we surely would have booked the kart to transport all our belongings.

Leaving Civita
Leaving Civita

The walkway to Civita

Civita can only be reached walking along an elevated walkway. An alternative is to hop on a kart. Or at least make the kart driver take your bags. But you have to book the service. You can do it by asking the B&B landlord. It costs about €5 if I don’t get wrong.

I wanted to book it, but Matteo insisted he could do it with no problem. Well, he kind of regretted that later. I mean, he managed to arrive up (the final part is quite steep). But he was melting and he took a shower as soon as the owners left. And after that, he had to rest for 15 minutes, while I went out to visit the Geological and Landslides Museum, which I surely recommend. It is small but you have the opportunity to learn everything about the history of Civita and the peculiar situation. Plus it’s free (you can leave an offer). And then I went back to the iRoom and took a shower myself. I was melting too, but, since I had to give priority to him for his effort, I thought of making good use of my spare time. 

Civita di Bagnoregio by night
Civita di Bagnoregio by night

The best part of my stay in Civita di Bagnoregio

The best part was surely to have the village almost to ourselves. Around sunset, 90% of the tourists left and we could stroll in the tiny village, admire the view, take photos and dine in a cute restaurant al fresco, la Cantina di Arianna. The bruschetta was average, first courses good, but dessert nothing special. Sadly, the one I was aiming for was closed that day.

Eating out in Civita
Eating out in Civita

Breakfast time

Another beautiful moment was breakfast the morning after. We had a slice of crostata (tart with jam) at the small café in the piazza. Only us and a small group of French tourists. I would have loved a croissant but, since Civita only has like 10 inhabitants, there’s no bakery. All things must be supplied from Bagnoregio. Of course that morning the scooter delivery guy was late and didn’t answer the phone. So… tart. But it was very good. Plus the jam was made with a variety of sour cherries called vìsciole, which is not present in the Veneto (where I live), but only in central Italy (Lazio, Umbria, Marche). So it’s not a jam you would normally find. 

Another big plus of Civita was the wind. Even if those July days were very hot, in Civita always a refreshing breeze blowing. 

Civita di Bagnoregio
Civita di Bagnoregio

As for the other things I visited this time, I’m going to upgrade the previous post with the list of Civita’s highlights: go to Civita!