Viterbo

'Dying town' in Italy charging admission

Civita di Bagnoregio to use funds for urgent repairs

'Dying town' in Italy charging admission

Viterbo, April 2 - The mayor of Civita di Bagnoregio, a small town founded by Etruscans some 2,500 years ago which risks collapsing off its perch in central Italy, will soon require visitors to pay a three-euro entry ticket to help finance the preservation of the town. Civita, known as "the dying town", is facing geological collapse as chunks of the plateau it rests on fall from time to time, leaving buildings structurally endangered. "We have to intervene and deal with the situation resolutely and efficiently," Francesco Bigiotti, the mayor of both Civita and its bigger and geologically healthier former suburb Bagnoregio, said Tuesday. "Admission funds can be used for the most urgent repairs". The ground has been slowly crumbling beneath Civita, some 145 km north of Rome, for hundreds of years. Some access roads to the town, which has some 15 full-year residents (the number jumps to over 100 in summer), are threatened by the continuing erosion of the ground underneath the town itself, largely made up of friable, volcanic tuff. A project to reinforce the main bridge leading to the town is planned and will be financed with regional funds. Other parts of the town are at risk of collapsing.

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