Category Archives: Events

Jan. 20, 2024 – Roccalbegna (Tuscany) – Project Presentation feat. Jack O’Malley with music & territory

Folllowing the events on Aug. 19 in Magliano in Toscana (link in Italian) and on Oct. 16 in Montemerano (link in Italia) -with a Dec. 21 addendum- we are glad to announce the next collaboration of the Jug Band Colline Metallifere with the project:

On this round, we will have Andrea Giacomelli, in his Jack O’Malley avatar, providing musical+territorial entertainment (if you move the cursor in the picture you will have a preview of these two faces).

  • To take part in the hike, and to eat your “Girotapas” please book on +393713434447
  • For more information about the portion of the event curated by the Jug Band Colline Metallifere:, or +393317539228

“GeoMay” Day in Torniella-Piloni, Tuscany

In Italian May is “Maggio”, so “Maggeo” is a sort of fusion between the name of the month and the geo- prefix. Since in 2020 it is not possible to attend May Day celebrations in person, in Italy and many other parts of the world, we try to re-enact some past May Day events by simulating their unfolding with a combination of mapping supports, videos and photos.

Piloni, photo by Pio Spinosi. If you can guess the year please write to

As a Maggeo prototype we took the 2009 May Day in the Farma Valley, in Tuscany, about 100 km South of Florence. On that occasion, with the BuioMetria Partecipativa project we followed all the celebration. This starts normally at 8.30AM in the Piloni square with a sandwich with marinated anchovies + red wine (or soda if you can’t have wine), and ends around noon at the Torniella football field, after several other stops of this type. At the end of the march, some people possibly end up having too many marinated anchovies, but the spirit of the is May Day is very strong (in all ways).

Along the walk from Piloni to Torniella, we asked to as many people as possible “how dark is the sky above the Farma bridge?” (before posing the question we were giving notions on light pollution and night sky quality measurement, so that our counterpart would not be giving random numbers).

  • The intial zoom level of the map is intentionally set so that people can first understand where the Farma Valley is located on Earth. As Andrea the old bartender used to say: “the problem is not finding the bar in Torniella…the problem is finding Torniella”.
  • In the search window below you can type something, and the system will tell you if in the video there is a matching place. Even a single letter will do.
  • If you click on the name of a place you will be brought to the corresponding section of the “How dark is the sky in Maremma?” video. The video is subtitled in English.
  • We are missing images of a couple of the official “stops”…should you happen to have some footage, please write to
  • FYI: parts of this video (together with other buiometria partecipativa videos) were used in 2010 in a report by TG2 (one of the national TV news services)

For more information and booking:

CAAT 2018 conference

The Third Farma Valley Winter Fest will host on Dec. 16, 2018 the annual CAAT conference. CAAT stands for “Coordinamento Associazioni Astrofile della Toscana“, i.e. the network of amateur astronomer associations in Tuscany. This comprises some forty associations spread across the region.

The local promoter of the venue is, handling for some years now a series of professional services concerning outreach on lighting and darkness  related to the BuioMetria Partecipativa project, among other services on culture, environment, and open innovation.

The event is mainly directed to an Italian participation. However, should you be interested to know more about it, or even to propose a talk (we will provide live translation services at no cost for this specific event), please write to

The deadline to submit abstracts for presentations is December 7, 2018.



The conference is open to all those with a passion for astronomy and night skies (but please be sure to register…see below).


The location

Torniella is in the Farma Valley, about 100 km South of Florence. This is half way between Siena and Grosseto, on the former state road leading from Siena to the South.

You may reach it from the North, first heading for Monticiano, and then continuing South, direction Roccastrada for 14 km, or from the South (or the coast) reaching Roccastrada and continuing North for 13 km.
Please avoid the main state road (Siena-Grosseto). This does in fact cross the valley, but several kilometers East of the conference location.
Participants are invited to consider car sharing.
For participants arriving from the Pisa area, it is possible to reach Torniella with a very scenic drive (Volterra-Casole d’Elsa-  strada regionale “traversa maremmana”, SP73 below Rosia): however, this is a very curvy road and is not recommended during the Winter if you are not a local.

The Farma Valley

The valley is where the  BuioMetria partecipativa (participatory night sky quality monitoring) was born in 2008. It has very good night sky brightness conditions, as documented by various surveys conducted by Italian amateur astronomers, as well as international researchers. Among other experiences, we like to recall the measurement campaign in March  2015, with a team of twelve scientists coming from six countries (see article).

Under a very interesting starry sky, the landscape during the day brings no less surprises, with natural and man-made landmarks. We have the  La Pietra, prehistorical quarry, several medieval iron work, and the  Belagaio state natural reserve, at the centre of a NATURA2000 protected site, and including a horse breeding facility. Half an hour drive from Torniella we also find the more renown Petriolo hot springs.

The socio-economic peculiarities of the valley are not to be neglectedel luogo. While having a very low population (less than 500 residents over  120 km^2, concentrated in the villages of  Torniella, Piloni, and Scalvaia), the area has a high number of local businesses, relative to the number of residents, and has a lively sports scene. This includes a football team, a mountain bike trophy, and -most of all- numerous players of palla a 21 (or palla eh!), an ancient handball game.

The musical scene is not less enticing, with one of the most active philarmonic bands in Southern Tuscany, a classical music Summer school, and folks who are active on innovative musical projects, such as the  fusion of rock-blues and environmental outreach.

Combining these resources, since 2007 the Valley has become the hub of several original project in the field of protection and promotion of lesser known assets in culture, environment, and open innovation. Among and extensive list of media reports, this case was covered in an effective way in a recent article on Langscape Magazine.

Conference Venue

The conference venue is the rehearsal room of the Associazione filarmonica popolare Torniella (80 seats available)

Schedule (pending the publication of a detailed list of presentations)

  • 10 AM – opening of the conference
  • 1PM – Light lunch at Trattoria il Boscaiolo (150 m from the conference venue). This combines typical Southern Tuscan dishes with Andalusian specialties (the chef is from Granada, Spain)
  • 2 PM – afternoon talk and CAAT general assembly
  • 5.30 PM – conclusion

With good weather, should participants be interested, it is possible to arrange a short guided tour of the village (20-minute walk, just afert lunch)


  • The conference takes place in the context of the third Farma Valley Winter Fest, an interdisciplinary territorial promotion event created by the same team managin the BuioMetria Partecipativa project. The Festival includes “local” features (i.e. the commong goods in the forest, the valley community map or the construction of the palla a 21 ball), as well as  “global” features, such as webinars on advance 3D visualization for the creation of virtual museums, and some healthy entertainment (short walks in the woods, and indoor games, dance contests and live music).
  • Should you be interested, you are invited to arrive in Torniella on Saturday, Dec. 15. There will be a space to showcase your activities, and it convenient lodging options are available in Torniella and Piloni (1.5 km from the conference venue).

Important dates

If you plan to attend the 2018 CAAT conference, by Dec. 7 2018 you should write to indicating
a- if you are interested in attending the conference (in Italian)
b- if you are interested to propose an abstract (this may be in English)
c- if you are interested in lodging.

Organizing committee

The CAAT Conference is promote by CAAT with support by, Pro Loco Piloni-Torniella, ad Associazione Filarmonica Popolare Torniella.



3rd Farma Valley Winter Fest, 14-16 Dec. 2018 – Southern Tuscany

[Last update: Nov 27, 2018]

This is the official page for the

Third Farma Valley Winter Fest

December 14-15-16 2018

…three days of pici, love, and music in Southern Tuscany

Details on the event are being gradually disclosed. For more information or inquiries:

To check out what happened in the two past editions, see these blog posts. For the current edition, please check this page, and the sub-menu pages you will fine on the Winter Fest menu on

Waiting for FVWF3

We are running events where we speak about the Winter Fest before the Winter Fest (some of these are presente on the Italian version of the news section):

  • 14-11-2018: Amish from Jack White @ Dribbling bar- Grosseto
  • 15-11-2018: Firenze – Hotel Lombardi
  • 16-11-2018: Amish from Jack White @ Tanta Roba – Massa Marittima (GR)
  • 17-11-2018: Jug Band dalle Colline Metallifere @ Ganesh 0588 – Pomarance
  • 22-11-2018: Politecnico di Milano
  • 23-11-2018: Torino – festa Alter.Polis with Etruschi from Lakota live
  • 1-12-2018: Madrid (venue tbd)
  • 4 o 5-12-2018: Milano (venue tbd)
  • 13-12-2018: Grosseto (Caffé Ricasoli from 6.30PM to 8PM)

At the Winter Fest you will find culture, environment, open innovation, and music

General notes:

  • all the core activities will be indoor
  • meals and overnight stops are at your discretion. We invite you in any case to consider food and lodging options in the hamlest hosting the festival. For more information:

Friday, Dec. 14

5.30 PM – Tatti – Opening of the Winter Fest and open mapping

6.30 PM – Tatti – debriefing aperitivo

9PM – Piloni – open mapping + sidebar recreational activity

Saturday, Dec. 15

From sunrise: with good weather, possibility of promenading in the Valley (check at the info point)

Noon – Torniella – webinar with a far away expert on an innovative topic

3PM – 6PM – Torniella – interactive social sandbox

5PM-6PM – Torniella – tutorial for a stand-up act

6PM-7PM – Torniella – test for tutorial participants

10PM-11.59PM- Torniella – Amish from Jack White live

Sunday, Dec. 16

10AM-5PM: Torniella, CAAT 2018 conference

Noon – Torniella – debriefing on Day 1 and Day 2

4.30PM – 5.30PM – Torniella – guided visit to a site of interest for the industrial history of the Valley

From 5.30PM – approximately, following the activity above: Scalvaia – Dalle 17.30 circa – Scalvaia – guided visit to a site of interest for the arts & crafts history of the Valley

7PM – Scalvaia – Closing of the Festival

Promoters (idea, communication, and management), Pro Loco Piloni-Torniella (local host).

With support by Associazione Filarmonica Popolare Torniella, Circolo ARCI Torniella, Circolo ARCI Piloni…and other subjects. A full list will be provided after the event.

Patronage (without funding)

Municipality of Massa Marittima


May 30, 2017, 8.45PM – “For a more aware use of artificial light” Lucernate Community Hall

The  BuioMetria Partecipativa tour continues, with a slightly revised angle and in a part of the country which contributed a lot to the 2005-2010 phase of the projects.

The evening meet-up will follow the morning lecture at the Politecnico di Milano on Land protection and planning: interdisciplinary experiences from ten years of projects from a lesser known area of Southern Tuscany.

The event will be hosted by Consorzio Bibliotecario Nord-Ovest Milano, the consortium of the public libraries operating in the North-Western quadrant of the Milano province (about 40 facilities). We will be in the Lucernate Community Hall, Rho, just North of Milano.

Here is a translation of the official event announcement  (in Italian):

For a more aware use of artificial light

Artificial light, and especially light powered by electricity, has represented one of the revolutions of our civilization, disconnecting human activities from the dawn-on/sunset-off pattern and improving security.
On the other hand, an excess of artificial light will determine significant impacts on landscape, ecology, energy consumption, human health, and security itself.
In 2008 the BuioMetria Partecipativa project was started, to provide awareness raising on artificial lighting issues, proposing a citizen science paradigm. From the Farma Valley, in Tuscany, about 100 km South of Florence and at the heart of one of the areas in Italy with the darkest skies due to low population and infrastructure density, the project has spread throughout the country, and has established significant collaborations internationally.
The presentation will provide an overview of the project and will announce some highlights of its 2017 campaign, where everybody can participate.

Please note: the official event page indicates a duration of two hours…we will surely be available for two hours, but the presentation will not be running for 120 minutes…ideally it will fit within one hour, and then we will have time for videos, photos, and interaction with the audience.

If you are in the Milan area and would like to attend, please write for additional information on how to reach the location.

No Live Music Allowed – ep. 1: In the Hilly Valleys (May 9, 2017, Torniella)

Tuesday May 9, 2017, in Torniella, Farma Valley, Tuscany, we will have the first episode of a series which will unfold during the coming months (see the flyer, in Italian).

We want to raise the issue of the complexity of playing live music (especially for a living) in areas which are far from the big cities and the cultural hubs, but at times revealing hidden talents and artistic alchemies which are hard to find in town.

For our first evening we will have two guests which might pose as Cat Stevens’  “Father and Son”, having almost two generations in between. The “son” is Dario Canal, frontman of the Etruschi from Lakota, a young rock band from  Montecastelli Pisano with two albums made and long tours through all of Italy. The “father” is Pietro Crivelli, bass on the first line-up of  the Whisky Trail (the first group in Italy to propose Celtic music, in the mid-Seventies). Pietro relocated in Piloni, right next to Torniella, in 2011, after forty years of roaming the globe, as a musician and a painter, living in India, USA (mostly West Coast), and Bali.

The idea for the evening is to hear from the two artists their opinions and experiences, touching different angles: artistic inspiration, sound engineering, organizational issues, without neglecting anecdotes and juicy stories which take place on- and off-stage.


The event will be moderated by Andrea Giacomelli, aka pibinko. As an environmental engineer he used to be typically involved in geographic information systems, but since he started proposing also other initiatives, such as palla a 21 promotion or buiometria partecipativa (participatory night sky quality monitoring) he also exposed some ideas on music and events where live music has a key part.

Meet us in Torniella, Southern Tuscany, at 6.30PM at the restaurant il Boscaiolo. There will be a nice “aperitivo”, a dinner with typical dishes (or pizza if you prefer), and the actual event will be at 9.30 PM. We expect to close shop at 11PM, with highlights from the calendar of upcoming events.

If you plan to dine at Il Boscaiolo, please contact directly the restaurant: or +3905641768029.

For more information on “No Live Music Allowed”: Andrea Giacomelli –  – +393511337020

(Photo credits: Federico Giussani)