Category Archives: Compositions

The BuioMetria Partecipativa project: from the Farma Valley (inner Southern Tuscany) to the HORIZON 2020 programme.

The BuioMetria Partecipativa was born in Spring 2008 in the woods of the Farma Valley, in Southern Tuscany (half way between Siena and Grosseto). While the project as a “local” approach among its priorities, since its first steps it was aiming at national and international connections:

  • Since 2008 the project managed several international relations. Part of these are documented at
  • Between 2009 and 2011 the progress of the project was presented in the main European event concerning night sky protection and promotion of night sky (the IDA Symposium)
  • Between 2013 and 2016 the BuioMetria Partecipativa project represented Italy in the management committee of a European research network funded by the COST programme of the European Union (the Loss of the Night Network), together with some 18 countries, and with about 40 participating organisations. In the context of this project we also promoted Tuscany as the location for one of the sensor intercomparison campaigns and one of the network meetings (in collaboration with CNR IBIMET). This was in March 2015, and was covered by national media (Radio 24).
  • Between 2017 and 2018, BuioMetria Partecipativa had a small grant from the Stars4all HORIZON 2020 project. Thanks to this, we were able to launch events in addition to those that we routinely manage. We also promoted the co-funding of an International symposium on the protection and the promotion of night sky . This was held on the island of Capraia in September 2018 and represented, as far as we know, the first event of this type held in Italy, at least since 2008.

On December 10 and 11, 2018, the final meeting of the Stars4all project was held in Madrid, Spain. The project had partners from Spain, Germany, United Kingdom, Belgium, and Italy. In this context, Andrea Giacomelli presented a summary of the main activities conducted during the past two years, especially in collaboration with the communities of Torniella, Piloni, Scalvaia, the National Research Council’s Institute of Biometeorology, the University of Pisa and the professional photographer Federico Giussani.

A 59-second presentation of BuioMetria Partecipativa in 2018-2020: whatever it was before, plus live music performed by project members in professional venues, with the Metalliferous Hills Jug Band (video courtesy of Dácil Muñoz, Stars4all project)

The Madrid meeting, which BMP coupled with an independently organised outreach event on the evening of Dec. 11, was just before the third Farma Valley Winter Fest and the annual assembly of the Tuscan Amateur Astronomer Associations. Our presence in Spain was the opportunity to launch some initiatives which took place in Tuscany at the end of Fall 2018, and to announce a line of activity which we will work on between February and mid-June 2019.

BMP highlights from day 1 of the Stars4all meeting

The presentation of outreach services on lighting and darkness, and of the report on ten years of digital social innovation in the Farma Valley on Langscape magazine.

The presentation of the annual assembly of the Tuscan Amateur Astronomer Association Network in the context of the Third Farma Valley Winter Fest.

Tasting the bread made by Wolfgang Scheibe in Tatti (Southern Tuscany) during the light lunch break.

For more information on the BuioMetria Partecipativa project, write to

Dec. 1, 2018 – Bar Cerveceria Sidi – Waiting for the Farma Valley Winter Fest with BuioMetria in Madrid

The Madrid meet-up with the info point about  BuioMetria Partecipativa , waiting for the Farma Valley Winter Fest,  is on Dec. 1 at 9PM at Bar Cerveceria Sidi, in Calle Colón , angolo Calle del Barco.
Pibinko will have a (small) desk space with outreach material to explain, first of all, the light pollution issue…then we will see. We plan to close the info point by midnight.

The first announcement of the event, made yesterday, started flowing through the capital, leading to the creation of long lines of people interested as seen below:

Madrileños lining up waiting for tonight’s outreach event at 9 PM, Sidi Bar….not (but the place we found is interesting).

For more information:

Waiting for the Farma Valley Winter Fest in Madrid

As per the promotion plan of the Third Farma Valley Winter Fest (in Southern Tuscany Dec 14-16, this year also hosting the Tuscan conference of amateur astronomer associations, including some international guests), we have an event scheduled for tomorrow (Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018) in Madrid, Spain.

The situation is kind of fluid, but not chaotic: at present the venue and the time are not yet defined. However this is an event taking shape a long way from home, and in a city where I was last time in 2004. So bear with me if some details will arrive last minute. For the moment I can say the event will be after 8PM.

Should you be in Madrid, and interested in participating, please write to to have more details as soon as they are available, or check the section during the afternoon of Saturday.

If you are interested in the Farma Valley Winter Fest (Southern Tuscany, Dec. 14-16 2018), please check:  , noting that not all content is available in English, as per this note.

Meanwhile, some cool live music (in addition to the  Seguridad Social, branobag).

The Autumn BuioMetric Campaign (news by, Nov. 13, 2018)

Entering the Valley that’s not there

We are set. Are you? The 2018 Autumn BuioMetric Campaign has started.

You are invited to events and initiatives which will lead us to the Third Farma Valley Winter Fest (Southern Tuscany) on Dec. 14-16, for three days of pici, love and music.


Several of the historical readers have been asking for a new branobag season. We can do this, but in a light version, as a soundtrack for your reading. As a starter I propose “Stay With Me” by The Faces.




Recommendations for the week

14 – Grosseto – Amish from Jack White in concerto @Dribbling

15 – Viareggio –Amish from Jack White in concerto @ Corsaro Rosso

15 – Torino – Tom Newton  @ HomeGipsyHome

15 – Firenze – Campagna BuioMetrica Autunnale all’Hotel Lombardi (per informazioni: **

16 – Massa Marittima (GR) – Tanta  Roba – Amish from Jack White in concerto **

17 – Pomarance (PI) – Ganesh 0588 – Jug Band dalle Colline Metallifere live **

News by on culture, environment, and open innovation (Oct. 29, 2010)

In the past week we put some time and energy to review various ongoing initiatives (I say “we” referring to some folks I collaborate with).
At the end of this exercise, we came out with a schedule which will bring us in seven weeks to the Third Farma Valley Winter Fest, with an outlook to June 2019.

I don’t mean to elaborate too much. The first upcoming event, as far as I and other colleagues are concerned, is the first official live show by the Metalliferous Hills Jug Band at the Sassofortino Chestnut Fest, in Southern Tuscany. I am particularly glad because a cousin of mine from Ireland will be on stage.

For residents in Southern Tuscany, the  Sassofortino Chestnut Fest is one of the interesting and important events, animating their  territory out of the Summer season. For non-residents, this might look like yet another country-style joint. We invite you to come on the evening of Nov. 1, and we can decide together what it will be.

To start getting a feel for the upcoming season, you might want to review some of the past news from the blog, and take a peek to the calendar, which will be updated weekly through the end of the year.

Moving away from the daylight saving months, we move into a different phase…possibly nightlight saving?

Three suggestions:

CPNS2018-5/28: El cel del Montsec. Com un un cel fosc està impactant en l’economia d’una àrea rural

[This article is part of the “Capraia Night Sky Symposium, reloaded” series – check this introduction to learn more]

S.J. Ribas (1) , J. Vilajoli (2)

1 – Parc Astronòmic Montsec, Consell Comarcal de la Noguera,
Camí del coll d’Ares s/n E25691 Àger, Lleida, Spain

2 – Consell Comarcal de la Noguera, C. Angel Guimera 28-30
E25600 Balaguer, Lleida, Spain

La serra del Montsec és una serra calcaria de més de 40 kilòmetres de longitud a les comunitats autònomes de Catalunya i Aragó al nord-est de la Península Ibèrica. La part catalana inclou al voltant de 20 municipis a les comarques del Pallars Jussà i la Noguera.

Aquesta área mostra uns paràmetres excel·lents pel desenvolpumant d’activitats al voltant de l’astronomia i els cels foscos. Per aquest motiu el Govern de Catalunya va promoure la creació i desenvolupament del Parc Astronòmic Montsec com una eina per ajudar al desenvolupament econòmic de la regió. Aquest impuls va donar una oportunitat per aturar la pèrdua de població i la creacio i millora de noves infrastructures turístiques vinculades al cel fosc i a les activitats astronòmiques.

L’any 2013 més de 1700 km2 van ser declarats com Destinació Turística Starlight i una part d’aquesta àrea va ser també Reserva Starlight gràcies als seus fantàstics paràmetres de cel nocturn i a les accions dutes a termes en el teriirotri per a preservar-lo.

Des del 2012 es van realitzar els primers anàlisi d’impacte econòmic i social, per exemple els resultats mostrats pel procés d’evaluació i diagnosi pel disseny del ‘Pla de Desenvolupament Sostenible del Turisme Montsec 2020’ [SomMontsec 2012]. L’any 2014 un nou estudi es va realitzat sobre els visitants del Parc Astronòmic Montsec i com contribueixen en l’economia local i en les activitats alternatives a l’àrea del Montsec. Aquest estudi del 2014 es va resvisar l’any 2017 amb les noves dades de visitants i paràmetres econòmics actualitzats.

Aquests estudis ens mostren importants resultats sobre la millora de l’àrea del Montsec. Per exemple el nombre d’allotjaments s’ha doblat en un dècada, l’aturada de la pèrdua de població a l’àrea o l’estimació d’uns 2 milions d’euros d’activitat econòmica generada al territori pels visitants del Parc Astronòmic Montsec.

Paraules clau:
contaminació lumínica, economia, astroturisme

Traduzione di S. Ribas

CPNS2018-5/28: The Sky of Montsec. How a Dark Sky is Impacting the Economy of a Rural Area

[This article is part of the “Capraia Night Sky Symposium, reloaded” series , and is also available in Catalan– check this introduction to learn more]

S.J. Ribas (1) , J. Vilajoli (2)

1 – Parc Astronòmic Montsec, Consell Comarcal de la Noguera,
Camí del coll d’Ares s/n E25691 Àger, Lleida, Spain

2 – Consell Comarcal de la Noguera, C. Angel Guimera 28-30
E25600 Balaguer, Lleida, Spain

Montsec is a calcareous mountain range more than 40 kilometres long in the regions of Catalunya and Aragon in the north-east of the Iberian Peninsula. The Catalonian part includes around 20 municipalities in the counties of Pallars Jussà and La Noguera.
This area showed excellent parameters to develop activities around astronomy and dark skies. For this reason the Government of Catalonia promoted the creation and development of Parc Astronòmic Montsec as a tool to help in the economic development
of the region. This development gives the chance to stop the loss of population and the creation and upgrading of new touristic facilities related to dark skies and astronomical activities.
In 2013 more than 1700 km2 were declared as Starlight Touristic Destination and part of this area became Starlight Reserve thanks to its wonderful parameters of the night
sky and the actions taken in the area to preserve it.
Since 2012 the first’s analyses of the economic and social impact have been done in the area. For example the results shown by the evaluation process for the development of the ‘Pla de Desenvolupament Sostenible del Turisme Montsec 2020’ [SomMontsec 2012] as strategic plan for tourism in the area. In 2014 a new study was done studying the visitors of Parc Astronòmic Montsec and how they participate in the local economy and in alternative activities in Montsec area. This 2014 study has been updated with 2017 visitors and economy data available.
These studies give us important results in the improvement of Montsec area. For example the number of accommodation facilities has been doubled in the last decade, the stop of the loss of population in the area or the estimation of close to 2.0MEuros of economic activity generated in the area by the visitors of Parc Astronòmic Montsec.

light pollution, economy, astrotourism.

Capraia Night Sky 2018, reloaded – end of week 1

Here is a recapitulation of this week’s articles:

Oct. 15 – Giacomelli – Introduction
Oct. 16 – Gini et al. urban ecology 
Oct. 17 – Depellegrin et al. coastal areas 
Oct. 18 – Ortolani et al. spectroscopic analysis 
Oct. 19 – Welch Dark sky places 

The next article will be available on Oct. 22.

For more information on these topics you may also see the Outreach on lighting and darkness page.

CPNS2018 4/28: Dark Sky Places of the World

[This article is part of the “Capraia Night Sky Symposium, reloaded” series – check this introduction to learn more]

D. Welch
Chair, Dark Skies Advisory Group
World Commission on Protected Areas, IUCN

From 1993 to March 2018, 149 dark sky parks and communities in 23 countries have been  recognized by various organisations,  notably the International Dark Sky Association (IDA), the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC) and the Starlight Initiative.
Because light pollution impacts species and their interactions, many natural area organizations implement lighting systems friendly to night sky viewing and night ecology. Parks Canada and the RASC developed guidelines for outdoor lighting in parks, now
recommended by IDA. These guidelines apply in the 27 Canadian dark sky preserves. The Natural Sounds and Night Skies Division of the US National Park Service has guided 22 of its sites to be among USA’s 65 dark sky places, mostly recognized by the IDA.
The Starlight Initiative certifies 16 Starlight Reserves mostly in Spain. Several other places are certified by sub-national levels of government or by astronomy research groups. As well as parks and communities, the IDA certifies “Developments of Distinction” and,
likewise, the Starlight Initiative “Starlight Tourism Destinations.”

Because these programmes use many different naming systems, the IUCN Dark Skies Advisory Group developed a 6 class system, some with sub-classes, to enable world-wide comparisons.

1, Dark Sky Astronomy Site, 14 places around the world.
2, Dark Sky Park, 86 places.
3, Dark Sky Heritage Site, 3 places.
4, Dark Sky Outreach Site 9 places.
5, Dark Sky Reserve, 13 places.
6, Dark Sky Community, 24 places.

Several challenges remain.

1)Light pollution reduction is often overshadowed by other threats to nature, such as climate change.
2) Much work remains to be done to reduce light pollution in urban areas, where protected areas can play a role through outreach, visitor engagement and demonstrating best practices.
3) There still needs to be recognition that protected areas, by default, should be dark sky places.

KEYWORDS: protected areas, nature conservation, parks, communities, best
practices, outreach.

Capraia Island, Italy, Sep. 2018 (photo by Zoltan Kollath)

CPNS2018-3/28: A Spectroscopic Analysis of Light Pollution at the Asiago Observatory

[This article is part of the “Capraia Night Sky Symposium, reloaded” series – check this introduction to learn more]

S. Ortolani1,2, A. Bertolo3, S. Cavazzani4,5, P. Ochner6,7

1Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Padova, Vicolo dell’Osservatorio 2, 35122 Padova, Italy

2INAF, Osservatorio Astronomico di Padova, Vicolo dell’Osservatorio 5, 35122 Padova, Italy

3Regional Agency for Environmental Protection and Prevention, Veneto, Department of Padova,Via Ospedale Civile 24, 35121 Padova, Italy

4Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Padova, Vicolo dell’Osservatorio 2,

35122 Padova, Italy

5INAF, Osservatorio Astronomico di Padova, Vicolo dell’Osservatorio 5, 35122 Padova, Italy

6Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Padova, Vicolo dell’Osservatorio 2, 35122 Padova, Italy

7INAF, Osservatorio Astronomico di Padova, Vicolo dell’Osservatorio 5, 35122 Padova, Italy


We present the spectra evolution of the sky at Asiago Astronomical Observatory form an unprecedent archive collected in the last half century. They will be compared with typical city lamp spectra. The artificial light pollution spectral evolution during the night is also investigated and its impact on astronomical observations is briefly discussed.

Keywords: light pollution, site testing, night sky spectra, aurora lines, sodium lines

The Asiago astronomical observatory (source: Wikipedia)