Italy: Lake reveals lost underwater village

Milan: An Italian village submerged for 70 years has resurfaced after authorities drained Lago di Resia for maintenance works.

The lake in South Tyrol, the Alpine region bordering Austria and Switzerland, is famed for its solitary 14th-century bell tower that emerges from the water.

For decades the lonely steeple has provided a final, almost fairytale-like memory of the village of Curon, flooded in 1950 to create a hydroelectric power plant.

In recent years the village – once home to hundreds of people – has inspired a book, Io resto qui by Marco Balzano, and spawned the hit Netflix series, Curon.

The post-war project saw the construction of a dam and the merging of three lakes to flood an area of more than 500 hectares.

The artificial lake also flooded more than 160 homes and displaced the village’s inhabitants, many of whom left against their will.

Now, more than 70 years later, Lake Resia has been partially emptied for maintenance work and the ghostly remains of the submerged village have come to light.

Locals have been documenting the eerie sight of old cellars, walls, steps and rubble hidden for decades.

Each year the lake attracts hordes of tourists and hikers who in winter can cross the frozen waters to reach the tower, the only visible remains of the Romanesque church of S. Anna.

The lake is also home to a curious legend: on certain days the bells of the church tower can still be heard ringing from the bottom of Lake Resia (the bells were in fact removed in 1950 but it’s still a great legend).