Civita di Bagnoregio: Italy's 'dying town' seeks UNESCO recognition

A hilltop village 110 km north of Rome has been proposed officially for UNESCO honour.

Civita di Bagnoregio, a clifftop village surging out of a valley in Italy's central Lazio region, has been proposed for World Heritage Status by the Italian UNESCO commission.

If successful, the "Cultural Landscape of Civita di Bagnoregio" could enter the prestigious UNESCO list in 2022, in a proposal backed by Civita and the Lazio region with the support of Italy's culture ministry.

Hailing it as the "first, important step" towards UNESCO recognition, culture minister Dario Franceschini described Civita as "a cultural landscape of enormous value and beauty."

Civita is also known as the 'Castle in the Sky'

Accessible only by a steep footbrige across the Calanchi valley, the tiny mediaeval hamlet is perched on exceptionally unsound foundations, with erosion slowly reducing its size and leading to it being known as the 'città che muore' or the "dying town."

Over the years the Lazio region has spent millions in shoring up the shaky foundations of the village which is about 1,200 years old but whose origins date back to the sixth century BC and the Etruscans.

Civita di Bagnoregio surges out of the Calanchi valley

Civita has a population of only about a dozen people but, in normal times, is visited by hundreds of thousands of tourists keen to see the "castle in the sky" that continues to inspire artists, writers and filmmakers today.

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Address 01022 Civita di Bagnoregio, VT, Italy

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Civita di Bagnoregio: Italy's 'dying town' seeks UNESCO recognition

01022 Civita di Bagnoregio, VT, Italy