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Star-gazing in Tucany

  • When you think of Tuscany, one of the first things that come to mind is probably the stunning landscapes of vineyards and olive groves. But if at night, you look up above the beautiful countryside into the night sky, you will soon learn why Tuscany is popular among those interested in stargazing.

    Southern Tuscany Stargazing

    Southern Tuscany, in particular, has a very dark area, covering Maremma, Monte Amiata, the Farma and Merse Valleys and the Tuscan Archipelago. Thanks to its low population density and distance from large urban areas, Southern Tuscany offers wonderfully dark skies. Plus, unlike other popular dark stargazing spots in Italy, Tuscany is very accessible.

    The BuioMetria Partecipativa project

    Not only is the low light pollution admired among stargazers and poets for inspiration, it is linked to a positive impact on the environment and people’s health. The BuioMetria Partecipativa http://www.buiometriapartecipativa.org/ project was set up in the Farma Valley in 2008 to gather more data about Tuscany’s dark sky areas. As well as being run in other parts of Italy, the project is now part of European initiatives related to light and night. Events and activities for all age groups are organised to raise awareness.

    Star-gazing at Osservatorio Chianti

    If stargazing in Tuscany has sparked your interest, you can explore the stars at Chianti’s observatory. From June to August, the research centre hosts special star-gazing nights, with English-speaking astronomers on hand to help you discover the constellations through their telescopes. This could be a wonderful way to introduce children to the mysteries of the sky.

    Address: Osservatorio Chianti, SP101, 50021 Barberino Val d’Elsa (FI)

    Web: www.osservatoriochianti.it

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