Isaura, city of a thousand wells, is presumed to lie above a deep underground lake. All around, where the inhabitants have been able to find water by digging long vertical holes, up to there and no further the city extends: its verdant perimeter repeats that of the dark shores of the buried lake; an invisible landscape conditions the visible one; everything that moves in the sunlight is driven by the lapping wave enclosed beneath the rock's calcareous sky.
Consequently there are two types of religion in Isaura. Some say the city's gods live deep below in the lake which feeds the subterranean veins. Others say the gods live in the buckets which rise up hanging from rope, in the pulleys which turn, in the pump-levers, in the narrow arches of the aqueducts, in all the columns of water, the vertical pipes, the plungers, the drains, all the way up to the weathercocks that surmount the airy scaffoldings of Isaura, a city that moves entirely upward.
INVISIBLE CITIES, Italo Calvino