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




  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. Coreen – Thanks for your comments. The buildings you see are either sheds or real residences. The wall to the left in the 3rd photo has lovely potted geraniums on the other side, which you cannot see.

    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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