Bagnoregio was quite the sleepy town–there were about five restaurants in the whole town, and most of them closed pretty early (or had no ‘regular hours’ to speak of). And night life was nonexistent…not even the one local bar stayed open past nine or so. But, then again, when you can have a few dirt-cheap glasses of Prosecco before dinner, eat the world’s best pasta and pizza, and then drink amazing cappuccinos in the morning…life’s not so bad.
Speaking of food and alcohol…we were just talking about how travel has ruined us in a way because we’ve eaten and drank the best of everything. And Italy’s got some of the big ones: the best pasta, pizza, prosciutto, cheese, wine, and coffee. We would walk to our little corner market and get some cheeses and meats and a bottle of “cheap” (inexpensive, but still unbelievably amazing) wine for $10 or so, then have a little picnic at one of the spots that dropped off into amazing views of the surrounding hills.
We were lucky enough to be in Bagnoregio during their small autumnal wine festival–I think it was something like $15 per person for the entire night, which included nine (!) glasses of wine (which I assumed would be small pours–no–these were very full glasses–one from each local vineyard participating), small plates at each spot, and then a four-course meal which included my absolute favorite pasta with truffle sauce.
The wine festival had a band set up in a spot with an beautiful view, and people danced there during the whole festival. One of my favorite memories of our entire trip is the band staying there and playing until three or four in the morning, even though Ry and I were the only people dancing for the last three hours or so. I’m not sure if they were just too polite to pack up and leave or if they admired our crazy dancing too much to stop… 😉
I’m not sure Bagnoregio is the best place for long-term stays if you’re a young person looking to meet and hang out with other young people, but it’s definitely an amazing spot for a few days or a week of rest and relaxation. It’s only a few hours away from Rome and super close to some other great Tuscan towns, like Viterbo and Orvieto.
Tourism has increased in recent years, especially during the warmer months, but Bagnoregio is campaigning for UNESCO status so as to gain the necessary funds for preserving the Civita. Articles here and here on Bagnoregio’s recent tourism increase and struggle to stay “alive” and here is the apartment we lived in while there, which deserves a special mention because of its location, gorgeous renovation, and awesome owner, Luca, who is the best host you could ask for.