One of the most fascinating things, which the Lucanian land offers, is the possibility to admire the stars quite clearly at night: on vast stretches of wheat fields, in the woods among the trees, or in the outlines of small villages perched on the mountains. Here, light pollution is in fact very low and dark uncontaminated skies are common, so it is easy to feel as one with the sky and nature just by looking up. This is a great fortune, as it gives anyone the opportunity to reconnect with the greatness of the universe.
Salvador Dalì used to say that when a person looks at the stars, it is as if he wanted to find his own dimension in the universe. Probably this is the reason why the number of tourists who are looking for places to enjoy the immensity of the starry sky is increasing so much, that now it’s the case to speak about the “astrotourism”, an activity that unites both astronomy enthusiasts and the curious of celestial phenomena.
One of the opportunities to get to know the area and to enhance the night sky was already registered in the program of Matera European Capital of Culture 2019, with the Interreg Europe “Night Light” project, aimed at enhancing two precious resources of Basilicata – the darkness and the silence – which the media saturation and the excessive lighting of contemporary cities risk to extinguish.
However, the link between Basilicata and the stars has been well established for some time with the presence of 3 astronomical observatories in Matera, Anzi and Castelgrande. Matera, since 1983 has enjoyed a window on space thanks to the Space Geodesy Center, one of the most important observation centers in Europe.
From 2022 it will be possible to visit the astronomical park that will be opened within the Geodesia area “The city of stars”. It will provide the visitors with a planetarium, a telescope and an astronomical laboratory. The project has now become a reality and will materialize in the coming months with a new discovery trail, tourist attraction and popular science. Here, the visitors will be able to rejoin their true nature, not surprisingly in the city of the Sassi, where exploration of human civilization was already highly distinctive.
This will become a unique space journey, thanks to a 10-meter diameter dome, which will show the planetary system by transmitting images of the entire universe. The system will allow you to virtually move in space, visit planets, travel between images acquired directly from space agencies, walking in an atmosphere of peace and tranqillity.