Bagnoregio has been inhabited since ancient times because of its strategic position between the Tiber and Lake Bolsena. Etruscan funerary stones and Roman archaeological finds testify to the thousand-year-old history of the town.
When the Roman Empire had collapsed, The Visigoths, Goths, Byzantines, and Lombards ruled over Bagnoregio.
During the Middle Ages, the town was a fiefdom probably ruled by the Monaldeschi family, and then, around 1160, it became one of the most thriving and powerful free comuni from that era.
Bagnoregio is also the native land of St. Bonaventure, one of St. Francis’s principal biographer and follower born between 1217 and 1221.
The right arm of the saint is preserved in St. Nicholas Cathedral. Since the profanation of the sepulcher in 1562, it has represented the Doctor Seraphicus’s only relic in the world.
Many are the places in Bagnoregio that remember the saint’s life, from his bronze statue to the Tempietto and the cave where St. Francis miraculously healed Giovanni Fidanza.
The town had been under the papal rule for centuries. During the campaign of the Agro Romano for the liberation of Rome from the papal power, Bagnoregio was the scene of a fierce battle between Garibaldians and Papal troops, in 1867.
In remembrance of this sad page in Bagnoregio’s history, the Piramide, a Garibaldian memorial, preserves the memory of those who fell in battle.
Entering through the Porta Albana, the historic centre of Bagnoregio appears with its ancient buildings, streets, and alleys that testify the glorious past of the town and lead visitors in a journey through time.
The itinerary in the history of Bagnoregio starts from the city walls and reaches the Valle dei Calanchi. It includes the following must-see sites:
· The Church and Convent of St. Francis
· Garibaldi Memorial
· Porta Albana
· Church of St. Bonaventure
· The Cathedral
· Monument to St. Bonaventure
· Chiesa della Santissima Annunziata
· Museo Taruffi
· The cave of St. Bonaventure
· The Belvedere of the Valle dei Calanchi