Illusion or not, for a moment it appears that you lose sight of the beautiful fluid swimmer as she temporarily disappears beneath the crystal blue aqua chlorine waves in the Olympic sized pool.

Where did Federica Pellegrini go? article this-file-was-derived-from-federica-pellegrini-e-luca-marin article this-file-was-derived-from-federica-pellegrini-e-luca-marin

Could it be? No it couldn’t be.

Did she swim to Atlantis? Or is it China’s version of Atlantis, the very real under water metropolis of Lion City.

Described as the most spectacular under water city on earth, Lion City is mystical, sometimes eerie in its murky spaciousness but always marvelous. article, daily mail photo credit article, daily mail Europics/CEN photo credit

Built in the Eastern Han Dynasty at roughly 25-200 CE and spanning about 62 football fields in area, today Lion City can be found 85-131 feet beneath the surface of Thousand Island Lake.

The area was intentionally flooded in the 1950s to create a dam.

Adorned with sculptures and massive cityscapes, Lion City is now one of China’s most popular tourist destinations.

The global information and news source adds, “A maze of white temples, memorial arches, paved roads, and houses… hidden 130 feet underwater: this is China’s real-life Atlantis.

Erecting a dam, the historical metropolis was slowly filled with water until it was completely submerged by the turquoise-blue mass now referred to as Qiandao Lake. Depending on where on the lake bottom it is, the city is between 85 and 131 feet underwater.”

Everything that sensational Federica Pellegrini touches seems to turn to liquid magic. article, BBC photo credit article, BBC photo credit

Federica Pellegrini, born August 5, 1988, is an Italian swimmer and native of Mirano in the province of Venice.

Ms. Pellegrini holds the women’s 200 meter freestyle world records (long course and short course), and won a Gold Medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

It’s still under investigation to determine if she swam to Lion City.

“A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.”… Colin Powell

At the 2009 World Championships in Rome, Federica became the first woman ever to breach the 4 minute barrier in 400 m freestyle with the time of 3:59.15.

The records keep getting crystal blue shattered.

She is also the first female Olympic champion in the history of Italian swimming; she is also the only Italian swimmer to have set world records in more than one event.

Federica’s first standing at the international podium was at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, where she won the silver medal in the 200 m freestyle at the age of 16, becoming the youngest Italian athlete ever to win an Olympic medal in an individual event.

Her first long course gold medal came at the 2008 European Championships in Eindhoven, where she won the 400 m freestyle setting a world record (4:01.53).

Magical and impressive, wouldn’t you agree? article, photo article, photo

There’s more.

At the World Aquatics Championships held in Kazan (Russia) in 2015, she won the silver medal in 200 meters freestyle behind Katie Ledecky and ahead of Missy Franklin with a time of 1:55.32, and the silver medal in the 4×200 meter freestyle relay behind the United States.

Our mermaid like luminary has broken the 200 meter freestyle record six times over the course of her career.

Her home country swells with pride and deep appreciation regarding her accomplishments. As reported at before the 2016 ceremonies in Rio, “Swimming world record holder Federica Pellegrini was selected Wednesday as Italy’s flag-bearer for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

Pellegrini wrote on Instagram that the flag honor “is the coronation of years and years of a career made up of big defeats and huge victories, moments in which I was lost and moments in which I rediscovered myself.”

Who are the group of people that helped raise this fairytale aquatic princess?

Let’s visit the village that helped shape her, the province of Venice. article, Wikipedia by-cocai-own-work article, Wikipedia by-cocai-own-work

The Province of Venice was a province in the Veneto region of northern Italy. Its capital was the city of Venice. It had a total population of 846,962 (2011).

The province became the Metropolitan City of Venice in 2015.

Venice is built on more than 100 small islands in a lagoon in the Adriatic Sea. It has no roads, just canals, including the Grand Canal thoroughfare, magically lined with Renaissance and Gothic palaces. article, Wikipedia by by-didier-descouens-own-work article, Wikipedia by by-didier-descouens-own-work

The central square, Piazza San Marco, contains St. Mark’s Basilica, which is tiled with Byzantine mosaics, and the Campanile bell tower offering views of the city’s red roofs.

As usual, Lonely Planet are the masters at transforming the exceptional into the magical. Here is how they feel about Venice. “Garden islands and lagoon aquaculture yield specialty produce and seafood you won’t find elsewhere – all highlighted in inventive Venetian cuisine, with tantalizing traces of ancient spice routes.

Never was a thoroughfare so aptly named as the Grand Canal, reflecting the glories of Venetian architecture lining its banks. At the end of Venice’s signature waterway, Palazzo Ducale and Basilica di San Marco add double exclamation points. article, Wikipedia by by saffron-blaze-own-work article, Wikipedia by by saffron-blaze-own-work

Venice is the consummate magician. It makes marble palaces vanish into silent fogs, labyrinthine calli (streets) disappear at the whim of moody tides, and can even turn the most pedestrian of people into fantastical, masked creatures. Just like its world-famous Carnevale, Venice thrives on mystery and awe.”

So that explains Federica’s awe and magic. It’s in her village upbringing.

So appropriate. It is the city that literally swims on water.

There are so many fun things about Venice. It’s a destination once visited, never ever forgotten.

Here are some fun things about Federica.

At the enjoyable site they share, “Pellegrini is also passionate about fashion and music, and has numerous tattoos located on her forearm, side, neck, ankle and foot. She also is heavily involved in charity work – she puts her own items up for auction on eBay, and donates the proceeds to a local charity. Pellegrini prides herself in being a Leo and through her success at such a young age she earned the nickname, the The Lioness of Verona.”

Wonderful. Independent confirmation.

Her connection to China’s under water city is confirmed.

So if you are ever fortunate enough to watch Federica magically swimming in crystal aqua blue and she disappears for just a moment……. article, photo found Speed Endurance Swimming Blog article, photo found Speed Endurance Swimming Blog

Now you know where she has escaped to. article, daily mail photo credit article, daily mail photo credit

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Sources:, Wikipedia,, FCI Elite Competitor, photos thank you Wikimedia Commons.