Lost Italian Village Emerges After Decades Under Water 

In a story fit for Hollywood, the remains of a submerged Italian village have been revealed for the first time in over seven decades. The village was found at the bottom of Lake Resia, a 2.5-square-mile artificial lake nestled near the borders of Austria and Switzerland. The lake had been a popular tourist and hiking destination, both in summer and winter months, as seasonal freezing allowed for visitors to venture out onto it. With a dramatic 14th-century steeple emerging from its turquoise waters, the setting had inspired a book and a Netflix series. But no screenwriter could’ve written the script for what happened this week.

An aerial photograph of Curon’s old city bell tower as it was before being submerged in 1950.

Photo: Getty Images/Miguel Medina

But first the history. In 1950, the village of Curon was once home to hundreds of Italians. That was before the village was intentionally flooded to make way for a nearby hydroelectric plant. Fast-forward some seventy-one years later, when repairs forced a team to temporarily drain the lake. In a scene that we’ve come to expect from the minds of M. Night Shyamalan or Stephen King, as the lake water was removed, the remains of a forgotten village appeared. 

Steps from the former village can be seen at the bottom of the lake.

Photo: Luisa Azzolini

Locals who once visited the site for its serene lake are now coming to walk the lake’s bottom  to see the ruins. While none of the homes have survived the flood, old steps, cellars, and walls that had spent decades on the lakebed were suddenly exposed. 

A cellar leading even further underground was found after the lake was drained.

Photo: Luisa Azzolini

Luisa Azzolini, who is from the region, wrote on Twitter that it was a “strange feeling” to be walking amid the rubble of the lost village. Perhaps others visiting the old village also experienced that same strange feeling. And perhaps they’ll immortalize it in a new book or Netflix series.

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