Underwater Italian Village May Resurface

Category: Lifestyle/Entertainment


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. emerge / ɪˈmɜrdʒ / (v) – to appear or come into view

    After several hours, one of the divers finally emerged from the water.

  2. intact / ɪnˈtækt / (adj) – undamaged or unbroken

    Archaeologists found the ancient tomb still intact.

  3. marvel / ˈmɑr vəl / (v) – to feel excitement or amazement over something

    I marveled over the beauty of the landscape.

  4. eerie / ˈɪər i / (adj) – strange and creepy

    It feels eerie to walk through the woods at night.

  5. reservoir / ˈrɛz ərˌvwɑr / (n) – a large natural or man-made place used to store a supply of water

    The reservoir is almost empty because it hasn’t rained for several weeks now.


Read the text below.

An Italian village that has been underwater since the 1940s may emerge.

The village of Fabbriche di Careggine [FAB-rih-KEH dee ka-REH-jee-neh] dates back to the 13th century, and it is located in the province of Lucca, Tuscany. In 1946, a dam was constructed in the area, and the town had to be flooded in order to create an artificial lake now known as Lake Vagli. Because of this, residents had to abandon the village and relocate to neighboring towns.

The village’s streets are usually submerged under 34 million cubic meters of water. Beneath the water lie some structures, like stone houses and a church, which remain intact and appear only when the dam is drained for maintenance.

According to local authorities, the dam has been emptied only four times since the town’s flooding. When it was last emptied in 1994, a large number of tourists came to marvel at the town’s eerie remains after they resurfaced.

The next emptying of the dam was supposed to happen in 2016. However, it did not push through for unknown reasons.

This year, Enel, the energy company that manages the dam, has announced that it is planning to drain Lake Vagli once again in 2021.

Although there are no clear plans for the abandoned town’s public viewing yet, the company is already working with local authorities to boost tourism in the area. Proposed initiatives include redeveloping the natural environment around the reservoir.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• If you had the opportunity, would you visit the village to look at its remains? Why or why not?
• Since the submerged town emerges only when the dam is drained, do you think it would be a good idea to charge visitors a high price to see it? Why or why not?

Discussion B

• Why do you think some people like visiting abandoned places? Explain.
• In your opinion, is it okay to flood towns when making dams? Explain.