An Italian village under water since 1994 could appear on the surface

He wrote Amy WoodyattValentina Di Donato, CNN

12th century Italian village submerged under water for more than 25 years could soon see the light of day again.

The village of Fabbriche di Careggine in Tuscany, in the province of Lucca, was flooded in 1946 for the construction of a hydroelectric dam and Lake Wagli, according to the local tourist board. It has not been seen since 1994, when the dam was last emptied.

ENEL Dam on Lake Vagli, Garfagnana. Built to provide a hydroelectric plant, it flooded the village. Credit: StellaPhotography / Alamy

The inhabitants of the town were moved to a new town on the lake, Vagli di Sotto. Submerged below 34 million cubic meters of water, the still intact buildings of the abandoned village – including stone houses, a bridge, a cemetery and the church of San Teodoro – are lowered again only when the dam is emptied for maintenance.

According to local tourism officials, this has happened only four times since the flood of the 12th-century ghost town: 1958, 1974, 1983, and 1994.
The ancient village of Fabbriche di Careggine reappears every ten years to maintain the dam.

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

Local politicians have been trying for a long time to drain the lake and restore the destroyed village, according to local media reports.

Italian newspaper The Republic reported in 2015 that Mario Puglia, the former mayor of the neighboring town of Vagli di Sotto, had called for the lake to dry up again, citing tourism and local employment as a concern.
The ruins of an abandoned village sometimes see the light of day when the lake gets used to it.

The ruins of an abandoned village sometimes see the light of day when the lake gets used to it. Credit: Riccardo Sala / Alamy

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But now there are signs that the lake may have been emptied once again – 27 years after it was last drained to reveal the village.

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

“Reliable sources say that next year, in 2021, Lake Vagli will be emptied,” she wrote.

“It was last vacated in 1994, when my father was mayor. Thanks to his efforts and numerous initiatives that with great effort managed to establish the entire city of Vagli and managed to accommodate more than a million people,” she wrote.

CNN approached Enel, who runs the artificial lake, for comment.

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