Posted: Sept. 2, 2022 | Last Update: 05. Sep 2023
Have you ever come across a submerged steeple that seems to emerge from the depths like a specter? If not, let me introduce you to the sunken village of Curon (also called ‘Graun’).
Today, the submerged steeple is used as the emblem of the 'holiday region Val Venosta’, but it does have quite a moving yet fascinating history:
History of Curon Venosta
Unveiling the eerie tale behind the submerged village
Nestled in the heart of the South Tyrol province in northern Italy, right on the cusp of the Austrian border, Curon was once a charming village cradled by the mountains.
However, the 1950s brought a pivotal moment in its history—the monumental and fateful decision to erect a hydroelectric dam on the nearby River Adige. The result of this choice forever altered the village's fate: The valley was destined to be flooded, the village submerged, all for the sake of a sprawling artificial lake.
As the waters surged, the people of Curon faced a heart-wrenching choice: abandon their homes and leave the village behind. Houses were dismantled and relocated, but one stalwart sentinel remained - the village church and its steadfast bell tower. Yet, as the lake expanded, both were gradually submerged, becoming poignant symbols of a bygone era and the price paid in the name of progress.
Fast forward to today, and the submerged steeple has become the centrepiece and main tourist attraction of ‘Val Venosta’. You can get an up-close view of its bell tower while on a boat excursion, view it from the vantage point of the observation deck or embark on a roughly four-hour lakeside stroll.
Things to do in Curon and Val Venosta
If you are spending more time in the area, rest assured that beyond its mystique, Curon Venosta also offers an array of activities and a medley of experiences to keep boredom at bay.
Ready for your Val Venosta adventure? Here are some of the best things to do!
1. Visit the Bell Tower:
This iconic church is an absolute must-visit, encapsulating the essence of Curon Venosta's history
3. Reel in Memories (see what I did there? ;-):
Try your hand at fishing in the Resia Lake's waters, teeming with trout and pike.
4. Take a Refreshing Dip:
Dive into the Resia Lake's refreshing waters, with temperatures reaching up to 25 degrees Celsius (77 degrees Fahrenheit) in the summer.
5. Explore Ortler Stelvio National Park:
Encounter wildlife like marmots, ibex, and eagles in this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
6. Sail the Resia Lake:
See the town from a unique perspective with a boat trip on the lake.(The boat tours are currently suspended until 2025 due to roadworks)
7. Savour Local Delights:
Experience the heart of South Tyrol through its culinary offerings, from smoked speck to delightful Kaiserschmarrn and exquisite Strudels.
Where to stay in Curon?
There is a small number of hotels available in Curon, so be sure to book your stay* in advance.
"Curon" - a series on Netflix
Did you know the village made it to international renown thanks to a supernatural horror series named “CURON” on Netflix?
The Netflix show is set in a fictional village that is eerily similar to Curon Venosta. It tells the story of Anna Raina who returns to her hometown after 17 years, only to discover that the village is not what it seems. The villagers are hiding dark secrets, and the woman and her children are in danger.
The village of Curon Venosta and the Netflix series Curon are inextricably linked. The series was filmed on location in Curon Venosta, and the submerged bell tower of the church is a prominent feature in the series. It also draws on the local legends and folklore of Curon Venosta, which add to the sense of mystery and dread.
Of course, the village of Curon Venosta is a real place, but the Netflix series Curon is a work of fiction. However, the two are connected by their shared history and mythology. The show explores the dark side of human nature, and the village of Curon Venosta is a perfect setting for such a story. The submerged bell tower of the church is a haunting reminder of the village that was lost, and it is a powerful symbol of the themes explored in the series.
The series has been praised for its atmosphere, its suspenseful plot, and its strong performances. It has been compared to other supernatural horror series such as "Stranger Things" and "The Haunting of Hill House."
Here is a trailer (viewer's discretion advised):
Getting to Curon
Getting to Curon is such an experience that it definitely fits the bill of 'the journey is the destination'. Click here to learn how to make the most of it.
Our Experience in Curon Venosta
We visited for the first time in 2022, venturing across the Italian-Austrian border but avoiding the classic 'Brenner Pass'. Nick, in his classic adventurous spirit, chose the picturesque Resia Pass route instead - and of course, I was all in! Little did I know, he had yet another surprise up his sleeve to satisfy my ever-curious FOMO-driven heart (but hey, that's just his style – always unveiling these incredible hidden gems that I never saw coming!).
Driving down the Pass and toward Resia Lake (or "Reschensee" as the locals and Germans call it), little villages dotted the landscape. And only then I noticed a somewhat 'peculiar' sight: a tower rising from the water!? Initially baffled, I admit I wasn't sure what to make of it.
However, once you pull into the large parking area, it all becomes clearer: several information boards have been put up that detail the history and lay out the original village in miniature format. We spent a few hours here, had breakfast by the lakeshore and admired the view and the history.
A quick stop or a day trip destination
If you find yourself in the tri-state-area of Italy/Austria/Switzerland and are looking for something a little off the beaten path, be sure to add a visit to the sunken village of Curon to your itinerary. It's a truly unique and experience that you won't find anywhere else in the world.
Village of Curon
Lake Resia / Resia Pass
Val Venosta / South Tyrol
Enjoy your time in Curon!
As we wrap up this journey, I want to extend my heartfelt gratitude to all you intrepid explorers for joining me - and I trust this virtual tour of Curon, with its enchanting submerged steeple, has kindled your curiosity.
Curon invites you to uncover its extraordinary allure, the intriguing narrative of its submerged past as well as the wider region of the Vinschgau.
Enjoy your visit!
Below you can find some more articles related to South Tyrol.
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