Destination Weddings in Civita di Bagnoregio
The two of you will truly take a step back in time when you get married in the small medieval village of Civita di Bagnoregio. It is one of many hill towns in Central Italy near Tuscany and Umbria. Located in the region of Lazio and the province of Viterbo, it is also close to the famed cathedral town of Orvieto. The first thing you will notice is that from a distance it seems to rise up out of the steep hill like a castle, rimmed by cliffs on all sides. There are no cars, nor traffic, because the only way to reach it is by a foot bridge. Civita used to be connected to Bagnoregio, but the land between them eroded, necessitating the bridge. The best time for a wedding is the summer, however late spring and the fall are also good choices. But be sure to find a picture of this grand sight laden with snow or rising up out of the clouds!
The bridge is paved and modern with railings, but does get steep before you walk half the distance. It takes about 10 minutes and an eternity to cross the span; the views are tremendous and transporting. Smooth meadows here and there break up the forests, and a series of angular mountains add a breathtaking backdrop.
Civita Bed and Breakfast is one of the few accommodations offered here, and it overlooks the piazza where the church with its bell tower is located. It does have its own restaurant, with savory dishes prepared by a most amiable host, Franco. Besides that, there are a couple of places to get snacks, including a wine cellar. Check to see if they are still holding the wild donkey races the first Sunday in June and the second Sunday in September.
You will notice the serene atmosphere the moment you venture in past the cut made by the Etruscans in the rocks and the Romanesque arch that leads into the town. The houses are all privately owned, but most are vacant. So, you can take your time viewing the stone houses with curved wooden doorways, as well as the religious icons the owners attach to their homes. As you walk the stone pathways and venture near the rim, you can see the toll that time has taken on the cliffs, stone walls, and buildings.
In 2003, Civita was chosen as the filming location for the second edition of the first 20 episodes of Terra Nostra, the popular Italian-Brazilian telenovela with an amazing soundtrack, followed by over 200 million viewers throughout the world. It tells the story of two young Italians from the 1930s, Giuliana and Matteo, who meet and fall in love on a ship while emigrating to Brazil. Many Italians went there to fulfill the need for labor after the slaves were freed in the late 1800’s; some to work on the coffee fazendas or plantations. The setting of that period has been faithfully reconstructed, with impressive cinematography and over 400 local extras employed in addition to the regular cast.
In this tiny walled city, you will experience the Italian spirit, ancient influences, the site of the home of Saint Bonaventure, and tiny yards and gardens that extend to the end of the world. Still intact are some caves; one is a tiny chapel carved deep into the rock cliffs. There is even a trail leading to an existing tunnel, which the residents take to the chestnut trees on the hillsides in the fall.
Civita di Bagnoregio wonderfully blends architecture and geography, so when you start your marriage in this special place, you will forever be a part of something unparalleled and precious.