Il Lago di Baratz
The Mysterious Lake of Baratz and the Flooded Town
Near to the town of Alghero, in Sardinia, there is a big, natural lake called Baratz. In fact, it is the only natural lake in Sardinia. It is officially recognised as un Sito di Interesse Comunitario (SIC), that is to say - a Site of Community Importance (SCI).
This is no ordinary lake! There is something very mysterious about it!
Ecco la leggenda. This is the legend....
A long time ago, there was a Sardinian town called Barax. The inhabitants were well-known for being greedy and selfish. One day, God visited the town, disguised as a beggar. He wanted to test the people.
When the people saw the beggar, they ignored Him. They refused to share their food or to help in any way.
There was only one lady who was kind. She was a poor widow with lots of children. Even though there wasn't enough food to feed her family, she invited the beggar into her house and gave Him some of the bread that she had just prepared.
The beggar realised that this woman was the only kind person in the town.
He decided that the people of Barax should be punished but that this kind woman should be saved. So, He said to her, "You must take your children and run away from here. Make sure that you do not turn around to look at the town. As you run, keep looking in front of you."
So, she obeyed and ran away from the town, taking her children and a basket of the freshly-baked bread.
As the family ran away, an enormous wave appeared from nowhere and flooded the town, turning it into a lake!
The loud sound of the gushing water and the shouts of the people made the woman so curious that she turned around to take a look. She just could not resist!
The beggar had warned her not to do this. She should have listened. At the moment that she saw the water flooding the town, she was turned into stone!
Divers say that, underneath the lake, there is a mysterious rock in the shape of a lady, carrying a child and a basket.
Local people say that, on certain nights, if you walk along the banks, you can hear the sound of church bells ringing under the water. They also say that sometimes you can hear voices crying within the lake.
If you decide to visit il Lago di Baratz, then listen extra-carefully, especially if it is at night-time.
You might just hear the ghostly sounds and the voices rising from the flooded town beneath.