Category Archives: Compositions

Operational perspectives on protection and promotion of the night sky after the Capraia International Symposium – a report on the March 13, 2019 Workshop in Florence, Italy

For more information: or +393317539228

One of the views from the Osservatorio Ximeniano

On March 13, 2019, in the stunning set of the Osservatorio Ximeniano in Florence (the first astronomical observatory in the city, founded in 1756), a workshop was organized by the Institute of Biometeorology of the National Research Council, the Department of Biology from the University of Pisa, and the BuioMetria Partecipativa project from the network. The topic of the workshop was the definition of common operational perspectives on protection and promotion of night skies, following the international symposium held on the island of Capraia (Tuscany) in September, 2018 (a report on the symposium is available).

The workshop was primarily intended as a follow-up for attendees of the Capraia event, together with other subjects collaborating with the organizers, in order to further consolidate a national interdisciplinary working group active in monitoring, outreach and promotion of dark-sky areas. In addition to direct collaborators of the organizing institutions, the event saw the participation of Regional Enviromental Protection Agencies from Veneto, Piemonte, Emilia Romagna, and Liguria, plus other experts from Regione Emilia-Romagna.

Each participant had the possibility of giving a presentation in the first part of the workshop. Key talks were proposed by:

Andrea Giacomelli, MS in Environmental Engineering and PhD, animating since 2008 BuioMetria Partecipativa as the flagship project in a framework of various initiatives for protection and promotion of lesser known resources in the fields of culture, environment, and open innovation (supported by the network):

Luciano Massetti, MS in electronic engineering and senior technologist at CNR IBIMET, with a strong track record in environmental monitoring and education, active since 2014 on activities concerning artificial light at night:


Andrea Bertolo, MS in Physics, managing the light pollution section of the Veneto Regional Environmental Protection Agency, presenting their regional network for night sky quality measurements, used both for monitoring and scientific research.


Elena Maggi, MS in Biology, researcher with the Dept. of Biology at the University of Pisa, active since 2015 on projects concerning the effects of artificial light at night on marine micro-organisms.



Luca Delucchi, MS in Geography, and author of the BuioMetria Partecipativa web map in 2008, since then a researcher at the Edmund Mach Foundation in Trento, specialized in geographic information systems and remote sensing.


The afternoon part of the workshop was dedicated to brainstorming and outlining key activies. During the coming few weeks the working group, in collaboration with some subject who could not physically be in Florence, but expressed their interest in participating in this effort, will proceed to define a set of joint actions on the topic of promotion and protection of the night sky.

The working group at the end of their day at the Osservatorio Ximeniano, not counting a couple of participants who needed to leave earlier (and Federico Giussani, the author of the shots in this report, also specialized in nightscape photography).

We thank Fondazione Osservatorio Ximeniano for hosting the workshop (and you can check out some indoor details of the anciente observatory dome from the image above).

For more information: or +393317539228

M’illumino di meno 2019 is also in San Vincenzo (Tuscany) with BuioMetria Partecipativa

M’illumino di meno is a format created in 2005 by the famous radio show Caterpillar, aired by RAI Radio 2 to raise awareness on environmental sustainability, inviting activists, institutions and businesses to organize events on the same day (the Friday between end of February and early Marchh) to engage citizens with presentations, performances and other activities..

In this context On Friday, March 1st. 2019 the Municipality of San Vincenzo, Tuscany, will host in their premises of “La Torre”, the tower facing the marina (Piazza d’Italia 7) a presentation by the BuioMetria Partecipativa (i.e. participatory night sky quality monitoring) project. This was started in 2008 in Southern Tuscany as an environmental outreach and a citizen science initiative for the protection and promotion of night sky, and the mitigation of light pollution.

This is not the first time for BuioMetria Partecipativa in San Vincenzo: our first event was in September 2017, followed by two more in 2018. The March 2019 presentation, however, will be a substantially revamped event. This is due to new interesting developments for the project, deriving from new national and international connections in the areas of research and community engagement. Also, we will be considering the topic of circular economy, which this year has been suggested as a key subject from the M’illumino di meno team.

Federico Giussani (L) and Andrea Giacomelli (R) during a night sky brightness measurement demonstrations with a sky quality meter (renamed “buiometro” for the Italian audience).

On Friday, March 1st in San Vincenzo the speakers/performers will be: Andrea Giacomelli, MS and PhD, creator and coordinator of the BMP project, Federico Giussani, professional nightscape photographer, and Simone Sandrucci, lead guitar for Etruschi from Lakota, and active with Giacomelli in the Metalliferous Hills Jug Band project, doing scientific and cultural outreach merged with rock blues music.

Simone Sandrucci, one of the lead musicians for the BuioMetria Partecipativa soundtrack with Etruschi from Lakota and the Metalliferous Hills Jug Band.

The March 1st event is following an interesting micro-exhibition held in Florence last week, where BuioMetria Partecipativa had various opportunities for visibility in relation to TourismA (a national fair on cultural and archaeological tourism). Furthermore, the Friday presentation is a precursor to an event which will be held in Tatti, a hamlet in the area of Massa Marittima (not too far from San Vincenzo, but inland), where the same team will be holding an event within the ninth International Open Day.

All these activities fall in the framework of a series of initiatives for the protection and promotion of lesser known assets in the fields of culture, environment and open innovation, developed by the network since 2007, with a base in Southern Tuscany, and interesting relations outside of the region (please check out

For more information and contacts: or +39 331 7539 228

What is a drummer and PhD in Hydrology doing in Florence selling archaeological tourism destinations?


Jack O’Malley, drummer and scientific director of the Metalliferous Hills Jug Band, at the end of the preparation of the seller table at the “Buy Cultural Tourism” session at TourismA, the national fair of cultural and archaeological tourism.

To appreciate what a percussionist and PhD in hydrology is doing by selling archaeological tourism destinations in Florence, you may read the English version of the press release from which an article from Il Tirreno Grosseto edition was derived on Feb 21, 2019. Or you may give five minutes of your time to browse random sections of the site.

Kudos to the Comité Régional de Tourisme Nouvelle-Aquitaine for the picture, and to Colangelo for the assistance in setting up the set.

Last but not least, do not forget the aperitivo-jams session with the Farma Valley and Friends micro-museum. This is organized by in collaboration with Hotel Lombardi, via Fiume 8, Florence, and will be on Saturday, Feb. 23, from 6PM to 8PM (a reservation is needed to or +393317539228)

Publication of EU GPP criteria for road lighting and traffic signals

In the context of the European collaborations that we manage via the BuioMetria Partecipativa project, in 2017 we started to follow a working group concerning the update of the Green Public Procurement guidelines for road lighting and traffic signals.

This group is coordinated by the Joint Research Centre (from its Sevilla, Spain, facility), and in the past 18 months is saw the active presence of several of the light pollution experts we know, together with experts from other domains.

Two days ago through the working group’s mailing list we had news that the results of the activity are available. Please see below the announcement. For more information:

We are delighted to announce that the EU Green Public Procurement (GPP) criteria for road lighting and traffic signals have been published.

Although lighting systems in general are great examples of potential win-win scenarios for the environment and public budgets, the setting of appropriately ambitious criteria for energy efficiency and durability has been a particular challenge due to the rapidly evolving nature of LED technology. Thanks to detailed input from some of you, including an in-depth analysis of the LightingFacts database using data from the last 6-7 years, it has been possible to present a tiered approach to minimum luminaire efficacy requirements in EU GPP criteria for the next 6 years.

A novel and ambitious approach towards tackling the issue of light pollution has been taken, with requirements on both upward light output ratios and blue light emission being set. The emission of blue light is a particular concern with some LED lighting products and we are pleased to be able to promote a specially tailored metric for blue light (the G-index) which is much more precise and reliable than the commonly used CCT metric. We must say that this was only possible thanks to the previous work of a dedicated group of stakeholders on this particular matter, so a special thanks to those of you involved in the light pollution criteria.

We also have tried to emphasise the importance of durability aspects with LED lighting and to try to shed light (pun intended) on the general misconception that all LED lighting products have excellent durability. There are different quality specifications for different LED chips and durability depends a lot on the quality of the electrical components and appropriate luminaire design, not just on the lamp itself. In line with circular economy principles we are promoting more durable and recyclable products that are correctly labelled to aid in their future replacement, upgrading or disposal.

An excerpt from the presentation of the new criteria, highlighting the combined benefits of LED dimming.

For more information

Feb. 7, 2019 branobag: have a coffe break thinking about that dress

[first edition, Aug. 17, 2012. The Italian version of this post has a lot more context explaining the title. The 2019 edition has a first pass on an Italian cover for the song, as a work in progress by the Metalliferous Hills Jug Band]

Old enough / Matura

You look pretty in your fancy dress | Con quel vestito sembri un bel bijoux
But I detect unhappiness | Pero’ mi pare che tu sia un po’ giu’
You never speak so I have to guess | Te ne stai zitta e io ti dico: “su’”
You’re not free. | …non sei li-i-i-bera…

There, maybe when you’re old enough | Ehi, quando poi sarai matura
You’ll realize you’re not so tough | Scoprirai che non sei una dura
And some days the seas get rough | Col mare grosso non sarai sicura
And you’ll see | vedra-a-a-i

You’re too young to have it figured out | Sei una bimbetta, non ci hai ragionato
You think you know what you’re talking about | Credi di sapere del futuro e del passato
You think it will all work itself out | Credi che alla fine sara’ tutto aggiustato
But we’ll see | ma chi sa-a-a

When I was young I thought I knew | Da giovane ero sicuro di me
You probably think you know too | probabilmente lo sei anche te
Do you? Well do you? | lo dici te…lo dici te..
I was naïve just like you | ero ingenuo, come te
I thought I knew exactly what I wanted to do | pensavo di sapere che fare di me
Well, what’s you gonna do? | be’, ora dillo te!

And how have you gotten by so far | e come hai fatto ad arrivare sin qua
Without having a visible scar? | senza nemmeno una fe-rita?
No one knows who you really are | nessuno sa chi sei in verita’
They can’t see | non lo ve-e-e-dono

What’s you gonna do (what’s you gonna do) | ora che farai (ora che farai)
What’s you gonna do now | o-o-ra
What’s you gonna do (what’s you gonna do)
What’s you gonna do now
What’s you gonna do (what’s you gonna do)
What’s you gonna do now
What’s you gonna do (what’s you gonna do)
What’s you gonna do now
What’s you gonna do now

The only way you’ll ever learn a thing | il solo modo per imparare
Is to admit that you know absolutely nothing | e’ ammettere di ignorare – tutto
Oh nothing | oh, tutto
Think about this carefully | tieni questo bene a mente
You might not get another chance to speak freely | potresti non poter riparlare liberamente
Oh freely | liberamente

Maybe when you’re old enough | forse quando sei matura
Maybe when you’re old enough
Maybe when you’re old enough
You’re not free | non sei li-i-bera
You’re not free

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 **