A lot of the visitors that every year choose to spend their holidays in Gabicce have actually been drawn to the town because of this enigma, hoping they will find some clue that proves the legend to be true while enjoying the beautiful beaches and the limpid sea water, walks on the narrow streets of Borgo Gabicce (with origins in the Middle Age) and the rich candelabra and relics that have not been stolen yet by thieves in the S. Ermete Parish Church. In addition the coast of Gabicce is characterized by its high cliffs: a spectacular view can be seen from the San Bartolo mount, in the Natural Park of San Bartolo.
These paradisiacal waters are the place where the first hints that a submerged city (which has now been named the Italian Atlantis or the Adriatic Atlantis) exists near the coast were found. Local fishermen have more than once retrieved archeological evidence like a statue’s arm, a column’s capital, a blazon and several odd-shaped rocks eroded by the marine currents. Several popular legends but also historic documents support these discoveries.
The area is indeed in the middle of five different water currents which might have caused floods or quakes capable of bringing a whole city underwater centuries before any Gabicce inhabitant found some of its remains bringing the legend to life.
This city, which presumably had Greek origins, appears to be located in the coast of Gabicce’s Cape in the area known today as Baia della Vallugola. Some town people, unlike the touristic guides, talk about it not as an actual city but as a marine center or a commercial port. One way or the other it seems clear Valbruna had a clear marine commercial character (believed to be particularly important for wine exchanges) judging from a cippus dedicated to Give Sereno, protector of the navigation, found close to Gabicce’s Cape.
Inhabitants and fishermen claim that it is possible to identify streets and house placements in particular areas of these waters, and some go as far as affirming that in the days of clearer water one can even see the top of a bell tower belonging to the ancient Valbruna’s church.
There’s of course some people that refuse the existence of this submerged city, arguing that the rocks found not only by fishermen but also by archeologists and geologists are nothing more than detached parts of the Cape that because of the vertical position in which they fell can be mistaken with walls. The same, in their opinion, holds for the capital and other items found in unnatural arrangements.
Whether Valbruna does actually exist or not, its name is and will most likely remain very present in the everyday life of this touristic town which, Italian Atlantis or not, deserves a visit during the summer months for its beaches and its rich cultural heritage.
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This article was written by Alba Lorente with support from alberghi gabicce ( http://www.hotel-
For any information please visit hotel tre stelle gabicce ( http://www.hotel-