In the northern area of Viterbo, about 30 kilometers from Rome, stands in the valley of the Calanchi a small medieval village whose charm, due not only to its historical and artistic richness but also to the territory where it was built, make it one of the most beautiful and characteristic villages in Italy, we are talking about Civitella D'Agliano.
The history of Civitella D'Agliano
Civitella d'Agliano actually has many stories to tell. Starting from the first traces of people who have lived in the territory can be traced back to the Etruscans, but we know that the territory had a demographic explosion at the end of the Roman Empire, when a large part of the population to defend themselves from the continuous barbarian invasions, decided to settle on a tufa rock, where the village still resides, a phenomenon known to historians of the period defined as "incastellamento".
More problematic remains the chronology of the foundation of Civitella, although research seems to indicate the eleventh century. Foundation and construction wanted by the Counts of Bagnoregio who in the following centuries took the surname of the Monaldeschi della Cervara.
The rest of the history of the village is inscribed in the furrow of a perennial conflict between the local nobility opposed to the political and military hegemony of the Church and the Vatican. We know in fact that in the XIV century the feudal lords of Civitella were lined up with the Ghibelline faction and for this reason the Papacy, through the militias of the municipality of Orvieto, ordered the settlement of the Orsini to lead the village with the destruction and the consequent rebuilding of the castle. The following centuries until the annexation to the kingdom of Italy in 1870 were witnesses of these continuous struggles for the leadership of Civitella, even if the influence of the church that made Civitella a feud of the municipality of Orvieto, despite the continuous turmoil, asserted itself.
Civitella D'Agliano, a place to visit
Civitella d'Agliano is situated on a tufa cliff in the northern part of the province of Viterbo, which takes the name "Alta Tuscia". The territory, mostly hilly, finds its uniqueness from the fact that it is immersed and surrounded by slopes of whitish clay that take the name of "calanchi", which give the landscape an almost lunar appearance.
Once you get to the village you will be impressed by its structure from the very first moments: in fact, on the left of the entrance arch to the historic centre is the entire complex of the parish church of Civitella. Actually there are two churches: the parish church dedicated to Saints Peter and Callisto and the "Madonna delle Grazie"; the 18th century bell tower rises above the roofs of both. In these churches you can admire the works of two great artists of the eighteenth century, Naldini and Mazzanti.
In addition to the village there are many things to see in Civitella, from the WWF oasis of Lake Alviano to the Valley of the Calanchi. But Civitella is not only history and landscapes. Every year the village is the promoter of many cultural and culinary events. Let's mention some of them. The beer and pizza festival takes place in mid-August in the fabulous old town centre of Civitella. Then we have the characteristic feast of water, designed to celebrate the connection of the Torriti, Liticata and Cecca areas to the water network of the aqueduct of Civitella d' Agliano, a feast that provides for the organization of a dinner open to all since 2005. Finally we remember the International Exhibition of the figurative arts that takes place between July and August, in this period the medieval village of Civitella d' Agliano, is full of cultural activities, with the memory of world famous artists.