In Italy, A Medieval Town Confronts A Double Threat — Erosion And Too Many Tourists

  • 2017-10-09
  • NPR

Tourism is booming in Italy, which welcomed close to 50 million visitors over the summer. That has helped some places that have been struggling to survive. But for one destination, it might be too much of a good thing.

Civita di Bagnoregio is in the northern corner of the Lazio region, 75 miles north of Rome, tucked between Tuscany and Umbria.

On the road, signposts point the way to "Civita, The Town That Is Dying."

And in fact, not so long ago, Civita was at death's door — shrinking because of erosion and landslides and in need of constant restoration.

Then, in 2013, the town took a bold step: It became the first (and perhaps the only) Italian town to charge visitors an entry fee.