Incredible news from the Lunigiana area: it seems that after 22 years the Lake of Vagli will be emptied again and we will finally be able to see the old ghost village that lies beneath its waters.
The Mayor of Vagli announced, just a few days ago, that likely, during summer 2016, it will be necessary to empty the artificial lake.
How to get to the Lake of Vagli?
By car: Coming from Florence (its about 2h) take the A11 and get off at Capannoli. Follow indications to Capannoli, once there follow indications for Ponte a Moriano, Borgo a Mozzano, Gallicano, Castelnuovo di Gargagnana, Poggio and finally Lake of Vagli.
Coming from Bologna: you will have to cross the Appennino Tosco-Romagnolo (which is a series of beautiful mountains).
By train: Catch a regional train to Poggio-Careggine-Vagli. (More info on trains here)
A little bit of history
The lake of Vagli is an artificial lake that was made in 1941 because the Selt-Valdarno society (now Enel) decided to build a dam. The dyke was built in 6 years, it is tall 92 meters and can contain 36 million cubic meters of water.
With the construction of this dam, the 146 inhabitants of the village of Fabbriche di Careggine had to be re-housed nearby. The town of Fabbriche di Careggine was founded by a group of locksmiths coming from Brescia in the 1200s and, at some point in history, the town was the major supplier of Iron to the Government and enjoyed a period of prosperity. Then, more than 50 years ago, the Fabbriche di Careggine was put to sleep under the lake’s waters.
The first time the Lake was emptied out was in 1958, then again in 1974, in 1983 and the last time in 1994 when, for 6 months, curious tourists invaded this area of Tuscany to see the famous ghost town that lies beneath the Lake of Vagli.
So, finally, after all of this years, it seems that the ghost village will be visible once again.
The village will probably, according to the experts, be in similar conditions to those of 1994 because water helps in conservation and there are barely any currents in the lake.
There are many projects to make the village visible on a permanent basis. Among these, one is to build a protective dome made of glass that will protect the village from the water of the dyke and allow visibility all year round.
But until then, we just have to wait for the rare emptying of the dam! Let’s cross our fingers and hope that in the summer of 2016 it will really be emptied out!