Origin of the name
Balneum regis, literally “King’s Bath,” is a place name of Gothic-Lombard origin that defines a king’s property and appears for the first time in 599 in a letter from Pope Gregory the Great to the Bishop of Chiusi Ecclesio.
There may be a connection with a thermal spa, regarding which there is scarce evidence. According to legend, the salubrious waters of the baths healed the wounds of the Lombard king Desiderius.
What to visit to Civita di Bagnoregio?
The tuffaceous hill upon which Civita stands is undermined by the continuous erosion caused by two streams flowing in the valleys below and by the action of rain and wind: thus it is crumbling away, slowly but inexorably.
The village, in which only a few families remain, is collapsing, evaporating – it is slipping away: tomorrow it will be nothing but a mirage, like the best dreams, like Venice (also condemned by water), like everything that reveals the fragility and powerlessness of man.
Native son Bonaventure Tecchi provided the best definition of Civita: “the dying town.” The inevitable destiny of the place, the surreal landscape of the muddy gullies that besiege the village, the contrast of their murky colors with the golden hues of the tuff, make Civita a unique place, sunny and gloomy at the same time, alive and spectral, depending on the mood of whoever looks upon it from the precipice of the Belvedere, the “aerial” termination - nearly - of the historic center of Bagnoregio, which begins at the splendid Porta Albana.
Across from the Belvedere, linked to the world by a single, narrow bridge 300 meters long, stands Civita, set gently upon its summit, with its tuft of medieval houses.
Prices are starting from Fiumicino Airport, Ciampino Airport, Rome center, Tiburtina Station or Termini Station. TCNI 001 not available from Civitavecchia.