Photo ©Ilaria
Historical sites

Lago di Vagli and the ghost town

Fabbriche di Carreggine emerges from under the artificial basin

Vagli Sotto

A ghost town buried under 34 million cubic meters of water. It’s not a science fiction book, no, it’s the true story of Fabbriche di Careggine, the village in the Garfagnana that was completely flooded in 1946 in order to build Lago di Vagli, an artificial basin owned by Enel and part of the dam, used for hydroelectric purposes and as a water reserve for the area in case of fire.

The residents of Fabbriche di Careggine were moved to a new town, Vagli di Sotto, on the promontory of the lake, and the town, dating to the 12th century, disappeared forever. Today, the ghost town re-emerges from the water only when the dam is emptied during maintenance: until now, this has only happened four times, in 1958, 1974, 1983 and 1994

Four chances to see Fabbriche di Carreggine with its stone houses still standing, the cemetery, the bridge and the Church of San Teodoro, with its ruined bell tower. Since 1994, Enel has not emptied the dam and there are no official announcements about when it will happen again.

Vagli di Sotto
Town survives despite numerous population decreases over time
During the first millennium BC, the high Serchio valley was populated by the Liguri-Apuani who based their economy on farming and shepherding. Around the 4th century BC, Etruscans settled in the high Edron valley. During the High Middle Ages, the Byzantines ruled the Garfagnana before the Longobards made it an important military area. ...