Monday, June 22, 2009

The Dying City

After doing research for our honeymoon 4 years ago, I stumbled upon an article by Rick Steves (travel guru) that blew me away. I stored it my memory and was lucky enough to pursue this adventure this time around. It was the highlight of our trip. Unfortunately, my words cannot do it justice, so I hope you don't mind but I am borrowing yours Mr. Rick Steves. Especially that part where you so poetically wrote:

"People who've been there say "Civita" (chee-VEE-tah) with warmth and love. This precious chip of Italy, a traffic-free community with a grow-it-in-the-valley economy, has so far escaped the ravages of modernity. Please approach it with the same respect and sensitivity you would a dying relative, because — in a sense — that's Civita."

"Civita teeters atop a pinnacle in a vast canyon ruled by wind and erosion. The saddle that once connected Civita to its bigger and busier sister town, Bagnoregio, eroded away. Today a footbridge connects the two towns."

"Inside the gate, the charms of Civita are subtle."

"Those looking for arcade tourism wouldn't know where to look. There are no lists of attractions, orientation tours, or museum hours. It's just Italy."

"Civita is an artist's dream, a town in the nude. Each lane and footpath holds a surprise."

"The warm stone walls glow, and each stairway is dessert to a sketch pad or camera

"Sit in the piazza."

"Smile and nod at each local who passes by."

"It's a social jigsaw puzzle, and each person fits. The old woman hanging out in the window monitors gossip. A tiny hunchback lady is everyone's daughter."

"Explore the village."

"The basic grid street plan of the ancient town survives, but its centerpiece — a holy place of worship — rotates with the cultures: first an Etruscan temple, then a Roman temple, and today a church."

"At Trattoria Antico Forno ("The Antique Oven"), owner Franco serves up pasta at affordable prices."

"He also rents rooms. This place used to be called "Trattoria Al Forno," but Franco got tired of being called Al."

"Spend the evening. After dinner, sit on the church steps with people who've done exactly that for 60 years. Children play on the piazza until midnight."

"Towering above its moat, Civita seems to be fortified against change. But the modern world is a persistent battering ram. Civita will be great for years, but never as great as today."

And on a side note, only 10 people live in Civita. 10!!! And I think we met half of them--truly unbelievable!

Interested in reading the full article?

Interested in viewing the town's website?


  1. We will always be lucky to be part of something so magical. Along with the the 10 local people, we were the only guests in this city!!!


  2. These are amazing shots! You two take the best pictures!! Looks like an amazing trip. Carrie



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