Civita di Bagnoregio is actually two remote towns. Civita is on a hill accessible only by a long stone walkway that begins at the end of the road from neighboring Bagnoregio. Once, Civita was the larger community and Bagnoregio the satellite. Today, Civita has only about 14 year-round residents, so few that Civita is nicknamed "the Dead City." Many of the buildings in Civita are being purchased by rich Italians who come here for vacation. However the town suffers constant erosion of its volcanic rock into the valley below.
Civita is a charming medieval city, almost utterly untouched by the Renaissance. (The façade of the church was remodeled during the Renaissance, but the city is otherwise entirely medieval.) Despite its nickname, during the tourist season, Civita bustles with day trippers.
The long bridge into Civita is steep—and it gets steeper as it rises. This is a challenging climb for anyone not in particularly good shape.
To get to Civita, you will need first to get to Bagnoregio. There is a bus from Orvieto; the bus is run by Cotral S.p.A. and costs €2 each way. It leaves from Orvieto's Piazza Cahen, which is just outside the top of the funicular. Download the latest timetable from Cotral's Website [formerly dead link]. You can buy tickets in the station bar, or on board the bus (try to have exact change).
From where the bus drops you off there is a minibus that goes up to Civita. Alternatively you can walk, it only takes about 15 - 20 mins, so if you just missed a minibus it is almost certainly faster to walk. Simply walk up the hill and follow the main road, if you have any doubt ask at the gas station or the tourist information centre near the gas station if open.
The simplest way to get to Bagnoregio from Orvieto is to get on the autostrada and follow the signs to Lubriano and Bagnoregio. A more scenic route takes 20 minutes longer. From the freeway, pass under hill-capping Orvieto, with signs to Lago di Bolsena and Viale I Maggio on your right, and take the first left to Bagnoregio, winding through Canale and great Orvieto views.
Once you get into Bagnoregio, you can park either at the bus lot at the edge of town or at the base of the stone walkway. (Follow the yellow signs to Civita to reach the parking lot.) There is a parking charge of €1 an hour, which you can pay at the shop or the restaurant. Parking may be free on weekdays or off season when there's no attendant.
Alternately, you can walk from Bagnoregio to the Civita bridge (it takes about 20 minutes) or take a €1 yellow minibus (pay the driver) from the gas station to the base of the walkway. You can ascend to Civita only on foot, but taking the bus from Bagnoregio will cut your walking distance in half. One or two buses leave each hour, starting at 7:38AM Monday to Saturday and 8:53AM Sunday. The last bus leaves at 6:24PM
- 1 Romanesque Arch. At the entrance to Civita, this arch was cut by the Etruscans 2,500 years ago.
- Renaissance Palace remains. All that remains of an old palace is the façade, the rest collapsed into the canyon from erosion of the hill Civita sits on.
- Piazza. The town's only public phone is at the piazza, the site of donkey races on the first Sunday in June and the second Sunday of September. The columns are Etruscan. In the evening, the piazza is the place to be, as what's left of the town socializes there.
- 2 Church, Piazza S. Donato, 31. This church is on the site of an Etruscan temple, and after that a Roman temple. It has a fine campanile (bell tower), altar, and crucifix.
- Maria's Garden. Follow the main road to the far side of town to see a lovely garden with knockout canyon views. If the garden is open, Maria will greet you in a small piazza and urge you to see it. She shows the garden to visitors for pocket change; give her a euro or two.
- Etruscan Caves. A series of caves at the east end of town, one of which was made into a chapel, called the Chapel of the Incarcerated.
- In Bagnoregio, market day is on Monday in the gas station parking lot.
- lLa Tonna, Piazza San Donato. Small souvenirs and local products shop can give you a lot of ideas for your small presents.
- Despar Supermarket (300 yards from the bus stop. To get there, go back down the main street you came on in your bus from Orvieto, turn left at the Bar/Enoteca Cinema Alberto Sordi, bear right at the fork and then turn right again at the pyramid monument.). M-Sa 8:30AM-1PM and 4-8PM.
- Il Fumatore di Pizzo Ornelio, ☏ . Open Friday through Wednesday 12:30-3PM and 7-10PM, closed Thursday, on Piazza Marconi.
- Trattorio Antico Forno, ☏ . Serves cheap pasta. Open daily 12:30 to 3:30PM and sporadically for dinner 7:30 to 10PM Also rents rooms; see Civita B&B under Sleep.
- Osteria Boccadoro, ☏ . 12:30-5PM and 7-11PM. Covered patio off main square.
- Pina's Pizzeria (Near town entry). 12-10PM. Pizza and sweets to eat there or to go.
- Hostaria del Ponte, ☏ . Tu-Su 12:30-2:30PM and 7:30-9:30PM; November through April closed Sunday. Great view from rooftop terrace at bottom of stone walkway into town. €6.50 pastas, reservations smart.
- Civita B&B, ☏ . Run by Franco Sala, who also owns the Trattoria Antico Forno and Civita's only dog, the Civita B&B has three simple rooms overlooking the main square. Double €62, double with bathroom €68, triple €78. Includes continental breakfast.
- Romantica Pucci B&B. Pucci and Lamberto have five romantically decorated rooms. The rate includes breakfast and parking. There is an attached restaurant on Piazza Cavour. Double €80.
- Hotel Fidanza, ☏ , fax: . 25 rooms, Nos. 206 and 207 have Civita views. Call to let them know your arrival time to make sure there is someone at the reception desk. There is an attached restaurant. Single with bathroom €50, double with bathroom €74. Cash only; rate includes breakfast.
- B&B del Prato (in the central Square of Bagnoregio, Piazza Cavour), ☏ , . 4 rooms. The rate includes breakfast and internet wifi. Public parking in front of B&B. Double with bathroom €70.
The bus service between Bagnoregio to Orvieto costs €3.20 for the one-hour roundtrip. From Bagnoregio, there are six departures daily except Sunday at 5:30, 9:55, and 10:10AM and at 1, 2:25, and 5:25PM During the school year from September to June there are also departures at 6:35 and 6:50AM and at 1:35 and 4:40PM