“Panta rei” say the Greeks:  “Everything flows.”  This characterizes Civita di Bagnoregio, a small village about 65 miles north of Rome, suspended on a cliff overlooking numerous vegetable gardens that brighten the horizon.  The village’s foundations are in constant movement, making it appear as if it were Purgatory, the same name given to its famous beans that are still cultivated in the old manner.  They have to be handpicked because of their delicate skin.  They are really unique in cooking time and are easily digested.  They cost about a 50 cents for a portion.

Civita di Bagnoregio

creamed purgatory white beans

Civita di Bagnoregio

Civita di Bagnoregio

Civita has many visitors from throughout the world.  People come to see its picturesque streets, its fantastic restaurants and its local stores.  In June and September, there is a famous donkey race in the city center and there is a Jazz Festival during the year as well.

Come and see for yourself the real beauty of this old village and enjoy its unique cooking!

Civita di Bagnoregio

creamed purgatory white beans

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Creamed purgatory white beans with thyme and sunflower seeds

 Ingredients for four persons:

350 gm. Purgatory white beans, or cannellini beans

a bouquet of thyme

a thinly sliced garlic clove

50 gm. sunflower seeds

olive oil



Put the dried white beans in water overnight.  Drain them and cook them in two liters of cold water for an hour.   Drain them putting aside this water.  Add a pinch of salt, two tablespoons of olive oil, the sunflower seeds, the garlic, the thyme and some of the drained water (usually a few tablespoons) to the beans.   Blend all together to obtain a cream sauce.  You can decorate the mixture with a few thyme leaves if you wish.


N.B.:  These Purgatory (white) beans can be cooked after being in water a short

period of time.  At any rate, it is better to leave them in water all night if


Civita di Bagnoregio