Best known for its artificial lake, one of the largest in Europe, Vagli di Sotto is also famous for the ghost town of Fabbriche di Careggine, which lies deep below the surface of the water.
This area of the upper Serchio valley (also known as the Edron valley) was populated in the millennium before Christ by the Liguri-Apuani tribes, whose economy revolved primarily around sheep-grazing and agriculture. The Etruscans settled the area in roughly the fourth century BC, as is shown by archaeological finds around Bivio.
In the early medieval period, the Garfagnana was controlled first by the Byzantines and then by the Lombards, who turned it into a heavily militarised zone. It was around this time that town names as we recognise them today started to appear.
In the eleventh century, Vagli was ruled by the nobility of Careggine: they sided with the Ghibellines against the Guelfs, and with Pisa against Lucca. Yet in 1371 Alderigo degli Antelminelli gave Lucca the Garfagnana territory that they had conquered; in 1451 the three districts of Vagli di Sotto fell into the dominion of the Este family, who had been pushing their borders in the area for centuries.