Next to the village of Sauris another village emerged. The artificial lake of the same name, set between the mountains of Friuli-Venezia Giulia at about a thousand meters above sea level, has been almost completely dried up in order to carry out some maintenance work on the dam and the elimination of almost 70 million cubic meters of water has brought back the ruins of the ancient village of Maina. Not only that: together with the ghost town, the prison structure reappeared in which, during the Second World War, the New Zealand soldiers who were employed for the construction of the dam, ended in 1948, were locked up.
«About sixty people - said Lucia Protto, head of the Ethnographic Center of Sauris - lived in the Maina, about fifteen families, to which in the summer were added the families who had relatives or houses in that locality. It was a fairly lively community. There were economic activities of forest exploitation and the companies Nigris and De Antoni worked in the woods on the banks of Lumiei and in the area».
«There were cableways, a sawmill and two mills - continued Protto - Already in the 1920s, the inhabitants of Sauris had planned to build a small hydroelectric plant and in 1923 a Sauran hydroelectric company was established, so the inhabitants here. they already had the light. Then there was an inn that was a beautiful stone building: it was the first resting and refreshment point that people found coming to Sauris, from there came the freshest news. In the summer the shepherds passed by with the sheep to bring to the hut, from there lumberjacks, merchants and peddlers passed»
When the periodic emptying of the basin takes place, La Maina reappears its mystery and with that bit of melancholy of a past never forgotten. The current operations at the dam will take quite a long time, so for those who will go from the parts of the village of Sauris, in the province of Udine, the spectacle of the other (re) emerged village is guaranteed.