You understand Civita when, of an evening, its shadows follow you like stealthy and agile cats, or when the mist fills the base of the calanques and the village rises up, as though resting on a cotton cloud. You understand it when, looking east, it reminds you of the prow of a transatlantic liner, emerging above the vineyards and the olive groves, history and travellers’ dreams in its wake.
Civita is a life coach: it teaches you that nothing good or beautiful comes easily, that you have to earn each step along the way, that there are times when it appears that everything is collapsing around you, but then you realise it’s only the fragments that loosen. Civita isn’t history revisited, it’s not a museum park or a group of renovated ruins; not past, rather future. Even here it has a lesson: respect, which is certainly due for what we have inherited, and which also has to be kept alive with the daring of our best creativity. Civita represents something that many people would like: an escape from the noise, the arrogance, the rudeness and incivility. Here everything comes together and it’s possible to plan a better future, one which doesn’t involve surrender or romanticnostalgia. Marguerite Yourcenar was right; when asked in which, of all the many wonderful places she had experienced, she would choose to live, she answered “New York and Civita di Bagnoregio”.