The Italian submarine village from 1994 could resurface

The Italian submarine village from 1994 could resurface

Written by Amy WoodyattValentina Di Donato, CNN

A twelfth century Italian village submerged underwater for over 25 years it may soon see the light of day again.

The village of Fabbriche di Careggine, in Tuscany, in the province of Lucca, was flooded in 1946 to build a hydroelectric dam and Lake Vagli, according to the local tourism agency. It has not been seen since 1994, when the dam was last emptied.

The ENEL dam on Vagli Lake, Garfagnana. Built to supply hydroelectric power, a village submerged. Credit: StellaPhotography / Alamy

The residents of the city were transferred to a new city on the lake, Vagli di Sotto. Submerged under 34 million cubic meters of water, the still intact structures of the abandoned village – including stone houses, a bridge, a cemetery and the church of San Teodoro – only re-emerge when the dam is emptied for maintenance.

Second local tourism officials, this has only happened four times since the 12th century ghost town was flooded: in 1958, 1974, 1983 and 1994.
The ancient village Fabbriche di Careggine reappears every ten years for the maintenance of the dam.

The ancient village Fabbriche di Careggine reappears every ten years for the maintenance of the dam. Credit: Dino Fracchia / Alamy

Local politicians have long sought to drain the lake and bring the ruined village back into view, according to local media reports.

Italian newspaper The Republic reported in 2015 that Mario Puglia, a former mayor of the nearby town of Vagli di Sotto, asked to drain the lake again, citing tourism and local employment as a concern.
The ruins of the abandoned village sometimes see the light of day when the lake is habitually drained.

The ruins of the abandoned village sometimes see the light of day when the lake is habitually drained. Credit: Riccardo Sala / Alamy

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But now there are signs that the lake could be emptied once again – 27 years after its last drain to reveal the village.

In a Facebook post, Lorenza Giorgi, daughter of the former mayor of the local municipality Ilio Domenico Giorgi, indicated that the lake, which currently serves as a water reserve in the event of a fire, could be dried up next year.

“Reliable sources say that the lake of Vagli will be emptied next year, in 2021,” he wrote.

“The last time it was emptied was in 1994, when my father was mayor and thanks to his efforts and the numerous initiatives that, with great efforts, he was able to found the entire city of Vagli and was able to welcome more than 1 million people, “she wrote.

CNN contacted Enel, which manages the reservoir, for comment.

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