The weather has been utterly beautiful here these past few weeks.  Cold crisp mornings followed by clear blue skies and starry starry nights.  Trees have turned wonderous oranges, golds, ambers and reds.

Whilst walking with the dogs in Valdichiascio I spotted this new roadsign;

No need to run!
No need to run!

The sign reads ” Danger: The area is subject to flooding”

Some thirty years ago it was decided to build a dam at Valfabbrica to create a lake from the waters of the river Chiascio.  This large  structure some 17kms to the south can be seen in the distance from Bellaugello.  When I bought the house I thought it would only be a benefit to be able to look out into the valley to a beautiful lake.

I was told there have been considerable problems with the dam, the first time they tried filling it the water ended up in an old ladies’ garden the other side ofthe mountain!  It seems the heavy reinforced concrete structure was supposed to ‘settle’ into the surrounding valley, but someone got their calculations wrong.  It has not.

In the intervening thirty years countless millions of euros have been thrown at the project, both the designer and the commissioning officer have died and the dam remains dry.  This summer a further attempt was made to fill the dam,  the revised lake will be somewhat smaller stopping 3kms short of Bellaugello, but still affording a wonderful vista.

Neighbours became excited – somebody actually saw the beginnings of a lake, there was talk of sailing boats, canoes, beaches, wind-surfers, hurrah hurrah!  Hence I guess the smart new road signs.

Yesterday I drove down to the dam – dry -empty….  I guess we will have to wait a while for the lake to become a reality in the meantime we have these industrial signs adorning the valley!


  1. We have a house in colpalombo. And we are curious why the lake is empty. When dit you write this!

  2. Welcome to Colpalombo! Apologies for the delay in my reply, I did not receive the notification. Oh dear! the ‘lake’ 🥴 First started some 40+ years ago. After spending an obscene amount of money they started filling, or part/test filling the lake last year. They put some water in let it rest then emptied it, then repeated the process. Art the time I wrote the post I learnt the lake will never reach the original planned height, but 310.5m of altitude, so very much below the original plan. I further understand quite recently they have huge problems. Flooding was reported in the basements of some houses in Valfabbrica, and some also talk of flooding in Piccione, I don’t have first hand knowledge, but can believe they have huge geological problems. Some say it will never be a lake.
    I wrote that post way back in 2009

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