ROME: The eerie image of a church bell tower emerging from Lake Resia in northern Italy became so famous it inspired a book and a Netflix series.
Now the remains of the surrounding village, which has been under water for more than 70 years, have been revealed again.
The village of Curon once had some 900 inhabitants living in 160 homes, but it was flooded in 1950 to create a hydroelectric plant.
After leaks were found, the lake was temporarily drained for repair work on the reservoir, exposing what is left of the village in the province of South Tyrol bordering Austria and Switzerland.
Workers began draining the lake a few months ago and in April, after a layer of ice melted, the area was completely dry.
Uncovered were piles of bricks and rubble and some steps - all that is left of the old Curon village, which lent its name to an Italian Netflix horror series based on the lost town.
"It was strange for me to walk among the rubble of houses, I felt curiosity and sadness," said local resident Lucia Azzolini.
Hotels in the province had remained closed for months due to coronavirus restrictions, so few people noticed Curon's re-emergence until visitors began to return to the area as Italy eased its lockdown rules.
But the attraction won't be there for long. A power company started to release water back into the lake a week ago, and in a couple of weeks it will be full, leaving the village submerged once again.
(Reporting by Emily Roe, additional reporting by Eleanor Whalley in London; Editing by Mike Collett-White)