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Civita (more often known by the name of the adjacent town - Bagnoregio, Orvieto) has never felt the pressure of a car tyre (the bridge is pedestrian / three wheelers only).

Above - in late autumn;  Below - in spring






Bagnoregio was the birthplace of San Bonaventura (1221 - 1274 (53)).  Born Giovanni di Fidanza, legend says that his name was changed to Bonaventura ("good fortune") by Saint Francis of Assisi (1182 - 1226 (44)), who miraculously cured him of a dangerous illness.  San Bonaventura was a contemporary and friend of Saint Thomas Aquinas (1226 - 1274 (48))He went to the University of Paris when he was 14, and  studied theology under the English Franciscan Alexander of Hales (the "Unanswerable Doctor").   In 1241 he entered the Franciscan order, and in 1257, aged 36, he was elected Minister General of the Franciscans.


He was immediately landed with two major conflicts - one was within the Order, between those who thought it should be about Saint Francis' concept of mendicant poverty and those who thought that corporate property ownership was OK, indeed necessary - guess who won that one?  The other conflict concerned an obscure book written in 1200 by one Joachim of Flora which was taken to mean that the Franciscans were about to single-handedly save the world.  This predictably caused resentment among other groups that thought that they should be part of this action .... the result being Bonaventura's Decree of the Chapter of Narbonne, which imposed a rigorous censorship on the Franciscan Order's publications.


One of those to suffer greatly was Roger Bacon (1214 - 1292 (78)), who probably came to deeply regret his earlier decision to become a Franciscan when they were in their exploratory thinking mode! 


In 1262 Bonaventura completed writing an official (ie sanctioned by the Friars Minor) "Life of Saint Francis" which became one of the most widely disseminated texts of the later middle ages.  An earlier "life" by Thomas of Celano had already been written.




More books about Saint Francis


Everyone agreed that Bonaventura was the most saintly and humble of men (after Saint Francis), and he is often referred to as the second founder of the Franciscans.   That's his (very posthumous) statue below right, outside the Bagnoregio Franciscan church.


Not many people standing on the observation platform overlooking Bagnoregio will know this story.



The Bagnoregio valley (below) complete with cave dwelling, and a converted church with swimming pool at the east end of the valley (above left).  San Bonaventura stands outside the Franciscan church on the right.

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