A medieval "ghost town" may soon emerge from the bottom of a lake in Tuscany, according to news reports. It could be the first time that the ruined village has seen the light of day in more than 25 years.
This Italian Atlantis is known as Fabbriche di Careggine — a 12th-century town that was once home to about 150 residents, 31 houses and a stout stone church. For hundreds of years, the small town was a haven for artisan blacksmiths, according to Italian news site La Repubblica. But in 1946, it met its end when Italian energy company Enel built a hydroelectric dam in the surrounding valley. The town's inhabitants were moved to a nearby village, Fabbriche di Careggine was flooded and the new artificial Lake Vagli was born.
In the 75 years that Fabbriche di Careggine has sat on the lake's bottom, curious visitors have had four chances to walk among its ancient, water-weathered stones: in 1958, 1974, 1983 and 1994, when Lake Vagli was drained for dam maintenance, according to the local tourism board — and it may soon be drained again.
According to CNN, Lorenza Giorgi — daughter of the former mayor of the local municipality — recently posted on Facebook saying the lake would likely be drained again in 2021. The Enel energy company also told CNN that it was beginning to discuss a potential lake draining with local municipalities, both as an opportunity to clean the Lake Vagli reservoir and to boost tourism in the area.
As you might suspect, the prospect of visiting a medieval ghost town briefly resurrected from the mighty deep has drawn considerable crowds over the years. During the several months that Vagli was drained in 1994, roughly 1 million tourists visited the resurfaced Fabbriche di Careggine, La Reppublica reported.
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Originally published on Live Science.
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Brandon is the space/physics editor at Live Science. His writing has appeared in The Washington Post, Reader's Digest, CBS.com, the Richard Dawkins Foundation website and other outlets. He holds a bachelor's degree in creative writing from the University of Arizona, with minors in journalism and media arts. He enjoys writing most about space, geoscience and the mysteries of the universe.