Entertainment & Life

Civita, a striking old hilltop town in Italy

The photographer: Steven Rikala of Sacramento

Behind the lens: Overwhelmed with awe was my first emotion I felt seeing Civita, Italy, for the first time from a bluff in Bagnoregio. The only link to the world is a long pedestrian-only bridge. The town of was an important part of the Etruscan civilization going back more than 2,500 years. It grew because of its location on an important trading route and proximity to Orvieto. Civita and its neighboring city of Bagnoregio were once connected by a more direct path. However, slow erosion of the canyon walls and a 1695 earthquake contributed to the demise of the town. Today the soft tufa rock continues to slowly erode into the canyon. Several concepts are being explored to stabilize the rock including the introduction of large steel stabilizing rods. Time will tell.