Italy, the village of Fabbriche di Careggine, at the foothills of the Apuan Alps (Tuscany), lays completely submerged by water as a dam was built next to it. But every decade, for maintenance reasons, the basin, now called Lake Vagli, must be drained and the village reappears like a ghost. (Photo by Romano Cagnoni/Getty Images)Fabbriche di Careggine has seen the light only four times ever since it was submerged by Lake Vagli in 1994 © Romano Cagnoni / Getty Image

In the mountains of Central Italy, there’s a medieval village that’s been at the bottom of a lake since the 1940s. And next year, it seems like it’s finally going to come back to the light.

A panoramic shot of Lake Vagli and the valley around it
The village of Fabbriche di Careggine is currently sitting at the bottom of Lake Vagli, in Central Italy © Alessio Catelli / Shutterstock

The village of Fabbriche di Careggine dates back to the 13th century and used to be inhabited by ironworkers. It became a “ghost village” in 1947 when a dam was erected on the local Edron river and the village was flooded by the artificially made Lake Vagli. The lake has been emptied only four times since its creation, with the last being in 1994 – but Fabbriche di Careggine might be about to return to the surface in 2021.


The rumour that Lake Vagli was going to be emptied out once again appeared first on Facebook. The society that owns the dam, and so the one that ultimately decided on whether or not to empty out the lake, then said that it is a very real possibility and that they’re considering it as part of a plan to boost tourism in the region. This means that people will be able to visit the submerged Fabbriche di Careggine. It’s a unique opportunity to take a stroll around streets that are normally under 35 metric cubes of water.

Visitors walking along the streets of Fabbriche di Careggine
For a few months, with the Lake emptied out, the ghost village can be seen and visited and people walk along its streets © Atlantide Phototravel / Getty Images

The last time Fabbriche di Careggine resurfaced, in 1994, hundreds of tourists flocked to this small lake in the province of Lucca in Tuscany, to see this usually submerged treasure. If it happens again, hopefully, it will be another great attraction for tourists everywhere.


While the emptying of Lake Vagli has been discussed, there are no official dates for it yet. If you’re interested, you can keep an eye out for updates on the official Facebook page of the nearby town of Vagli di Sotto at the link here.

This article was originally published on the Lonely Planet on May 29th, 2020.