Before the gentle invasion of the first film crews in the middle of the last century, numerous were the dominations experienced by this village because of its strategic position.
After declaring itself a free municipality in the 12th century, Bagnoregio enjoyed a period of great cultural and artistic vivacity until 1695, when a violent earthquake separated the current Civita from the other two districts, Mercato and Rota.
The latter, over time, became the current Bagnoregio while Civita remained clinging to the tuff hill where the ancient Etruscans founded it over 2500 years ago, continuing to fuel the myth of the "dying city". Civita is accessible only via a long pedestrian bridge, famous for a sequence of Contestazione Generale (1970) by Luigi Zampa. From the bridge you can enjoy a wonderful panorama of Valle dei Calanchi. To visit the valley, it is advisable to rely on expert local guides; to get to the center of Civita just continue the walk along the bridge.
Porta Santa Maria is the only access to the village: its splendid decorations, depicting lions trampling on some human figures, are the metaphorical representation of the inhabitants of Bagnoregio who fight tyrants to gain freedom. In the historic center you can visit the church of San Donato, the cathedral of San Nicola and the Geological Museum of landslides, located inside Palazzo degli Alemanni. The Belvedere leads to the cave of San Bonaventura da Bagnoregio: an ancient Etruscan chamber tomb where, according to legend, little Giovanni di Fidanza, the future San Bonaventura, recovered from a serious illness through the intercession of St. Francis.
In La strada (1954), the circus performers Zampanò (Anthony Quinn) and Gelsomina (Giulietta Masina) travel in a old van. This picturesque vehicle was originally assembled by Ugo Trucca, a transporter from Bagnoregio, by combining a "Sertum 500" motorbike with the rear part of a car. After being partially destroyed in an accident, the van was spotted and promptly purchased by the film producers who entrusted Trucca with the repair.
Written by Franco Grattarola