Last Friday I visited Cività di Bagnoreggio with some colleagues. A hill town like many around here; actually it’s hard to find any towns that aren’t built on a hill. The origin of this, as many others, is Etruscan. But the choice of this site wasn’t good as the city has been slipping down the side of its hill since mediaeval times; an earthquake accelerated the process by destroying the road. Today very few people live here, some of the houses are holiday homes; the only way to reach the city is by a pedestrian causeway.
The surrounding area is called Calanchi (bad lands in the US) and it is this scenery that you can often see in the background of Leonardo da Vinci’s painting.