Lago di Vagli (Lake of Vagli) was created in 1953 after the construction of a dam. The dyke was built in six years, it is 92 meters high and can contain 36 million cubic meters of water.
The lake houses a depopulated village named the Fabbriche di Careggine, which becomes reachable when the basin is emptied for maintenance. So far, this has only happened 4 times: in 1958, 1974, 1983 and 1994. The population was transferred in new residences built in the nearby Vagli Sotto.
The old town of Fabbriche di Careggine was founded by a group of locksmiths coming from Brescia in the 1200s and throughout its history, the town was the main supplier of iron to the Government and enjoyed a period of prosperity.
Fabbriche di Careggine is also known as ”Paese Fantasma” (which literally translates as ”ghost village”) and some locals say that there have been strange events and that miracles have taken place since the village was flooded. The next date for Lago di Vagli to be drained is scheduled in 2024. Nevertheless, it is possible to see the church tower when the water level is low.
How to get to the Lago di Vagli (Lake of Vagli)?
If you are coming by car from Bologna, you will have to cross the Appennino Tosco-Romagnolo. In addition, if you are coming from Florence, take the A11 and get off at Capannoli. Follow indications to Capannoli and, once there, follow the road indications for Ponte a Moriano, Borgo a Mozzano, Gallicano, Castelnuovo di Gargagnana, Poggio and finally Lake of Vagli.
From the main road, you can go all the way to the dam through a staircase (6 km long). This walk is worth it because this is something really impressive.
There are many different projects to make Fabbriche di Careggine visible on a permanent basis. Among these projects, one is to build a protective dome made of glass that will protect the ghost village from the water of the dyke and allow visibility all year round.