Halfway between the perfectly preserved Medieval historic center of Viterbo and the breathtaking Civita di Bagnoregio, another jewel of Tuscia’s treasure chest is gaining recognition for its beauty, Celleno. The proof of this is that it has been included in The Telegraph’s top 25 ‘Italy’s incredible ghost towns’, shortly after director Paolo Sorrentino chose it as a location for ‘Black Moon‘, the new series that will be aired by Netflix in 2020.

The hilltop ghost town was a vital strategic outpost during the medieval period, however, due to the erosion of the soil, as well as for socio-economic reasons, in the centuries it witnessed a slow decline that culminated in 1951 when it was abandoned. The most impressive remain is in the heart of the ancient town, the Orsini Castel, which, built on a tuff crag in 1026, offers a unique and suggestive scenario. Other buildings of significant historical and architectural value are the XVII-century church of San Carlo and the XIII-century church of San Donato. However, the area was inhabited much before the Middle Ages, in fact, recently, a very important Etruscan settlement has been unearthed in the area and it will be soon open to visitors.

Since the 1950s, the 1300 inhabitants of Celleno, relocated to the nearby neighborhood known as ‘Borgata Luigi Razza‘. Their mayor Marco Bianchi, recently re-elected to his second mandate, commented the town’s recent successes saying: “We are honored by this recognition, above all because it comes from an effort begun in recent years with a few thousand euros. In the coming months, we will finally have some useful funds to better structure tours of our suggestive Ghost Town. We will be happy, as a community, to be able to regain possession of the spaces and history of our ancestors, and to be able to better accommodate the tourists who will come to visit us.”

Ilona Catani Scarlett

Ph: Davide Di Carlo

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