Living delicately on the Edge

Civita Bagnoregio panoramic

Surviving more than 2,500 years of wind and erosion, the tightly knit Italian hilltop community of Civita di Bagnoregio struggles to ward off the “Grim Reaper” as it sits delicately atop a pinnacle of slowly crumbling volcanic tuff.  It’s no wonder that Italian’s have dubbed this hilltop hideaway il paese che muore (the dying town).

Giardino di Maria - Civita Bagnoregio (LZ), Italy

Admired for its architecture, Civita is in constant danger of total collapse as its edges slowly erode and fall off, leaving the buildings built on the plateau to crumble. Scratching their heads, geologists have led the way in efforts to shore up the village with steel rods to prevent further decay.

Civita Bagnoregio overlook

For the full story on this fascinating locale, read The Palladian Traveler’s dispatch: Il Paese che Muore.

Bridge to Civita Bagnoregio

©The Palladian Traveler | ©Tom Palladio Images



Written by

Tom swapped his hometown St. Louis Cardinals' baseball cap in the United States for a Borsalino and he now hangs his "cappello" in the Puglia region of southeastern Italy. A veteran print and broadcast journalist, with well-worn passports that have got him into and out of 50 countries and counting, Tom fell in love with the "Bel Paese" years ago. As he notes, "I'm inspired by the beauty I find in all things that are very, very old, and reliving history, or at least meandering along the travertine and cobblestone that were laid down over a thousand years ago and just looking up and marveling at what occupies the space still today, really gets my 'Vespa' running." Tom has a good eye behind the lens and is a graphic storyteller, but he'll let you decide as he keeps his camera batteries fully charged and the posts flowing from his creative hideaway in the hills overlooking Ostuni. You can also follow his dispatches via and Anthology Magazine Ireland.


  1. Awesome photo’s Tom. Really love your work. Thank you for sharing. Hope no one is staying in that building. I would be to afraid to even enter….


    1. Sue – It looks a bit foreboding from a distance when the skies are a bit overcast, but once up there it’s like many hill towns you’d find around the Lazio and Umbria regions of Italy — beautiful. Not scary at all. Thanks for stopping by.


  2. Great images – and you do such a good job of combining just enough narrative with your pictures. I always look forward to each new post you do.


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