A week in Italy
Each year, since 1996, Serafino Zani Astronomical Observatory has been organizing an appointment called "A Week in Italy for an American Planetarium Operator" in collaboration with the Mobile Planetarium Committee of the International Planetarium Society and Learning Technology Inc. An American planetarium operator who wins this contest receives a chance to get to know Italian culture, to work with students and to do some site seeing. The planetarian who wins this trip presents lessons in English with the itinerant planetarium Starlab to Italian students of English.
A similar week will be organized next November for a French planetarium operator, in collaboration with the Association of French-Speaking Planetariums (APLF), and next year for a Spanish planetarium operator. The planetarians who wins these trips presents lessons in French or in Spanish to Italian students with the itinerant planetarium Starlab.
The National Meeting Association of Italian Planetaria, that managed also the National Archive of Planetaria in Lumezzane, is held each year in April. You are invited to join us!
During these meetings there are some foreign speakers that present their activities or demonstrate planetarium programs produced abroad.
If we receive show materials before the end of August we can organize a presentation of the show at the meeting. We will send all materials back afterwards.
We have been coordinating a "Day of Planetaria" that has been held in March in different countries yearly since 1995; Italian planetaria have been involved in this project since 1991. This initiative is an important opportunity for involving the international community in a collaboration that aims to promote the knowledge of planetaria to the public.
Links to all planetaria that participate in this project are listed on the science web pages of the site www.planetaritaliani.it. Planetaria that are usually open on Sundays are invited to collaborate with the "Day" by indicating their interest to Association of Italian Planetari. They can then send the address of their homepage.
The first European Meeting of Itinerant Planetaria was held in 1995 in Brescia (Italy) and the second Meeting in Strasbourg (France, 1999), in collaboration with the Mobile Planetarium Committee of the International Planetarium Society. Follow the complete list of these meetings: Lumezzane, (1995); Strasbourg, France (1999); Nantes, France (2005)
In the Brescia area we organized two international planetarium meetings, the first one, the “European Meeting of Mobile Planetaria” was held in 1995 and the second one, the “Meeting of French-Speaking Association” was held in 2001, it involved planetarians from France, Switzerland, Belgium and from the far La Reunion Island. On other occasions, colleagues from different nations also joined us to take part in an "Astronomical Tour in Brescia".
Individual and group visits include a tour to museums and monuments of astronomical interest in the city of Brescia and train fares (places to visit are only two hours by train from Brescia).
The area around Brescia is well known for its natural beauties and historic places such as the lake of Garda and the stone engravings of Valle Camonica, one of the most important sites in the world. Brescia is near the famous cities of Verona and Milan, which are only one hour by train, and from Brescia there is a train connection to Venice and Florence, (only 3 hours by fast train). If requested, it is also possible to organize a visit to other Italian planetaria.
In Valley Trompia (Brescia), where Serafino Zani Astronomical Observatory is located, a wide museum system exists (Iron Way) that describes minings, old way of working and the industrial activities that caracterize this district. The Observatory is located in the industrial town of Lumezzane that is at twenty kilometers to north from Brescia.
In Brescia area it is possible and worthwhile to visit monuments, museums and historic buildings also of astronomical interest. This astronomical tour includes: a XVI century astronomical clock in the main square of the city; an horizontal sundial of 1792 (in Brescia we organize a biennal international competition “Shadows of time” dedicated to the construction of sundials); a XIX century painting "Newton discovers the refraction of light" (City Art Museum) with many elements of astronomical interest; an astronomical globe of Henricus Hondius; a collection of old astronomical and science instruments and clocks, including an 1052 year astrolabe. All these pieces are housed in the Santa Giulia Museum, the most famous one in the city of Brescia. The tour can end in the castle of Brescia, which is located on the top of the small hill that marks the center of the town. The castle offers a beautiful view of the city and a relaxing walk in the castle garden where a popular astronomical observatory can be visited. Another site of astronomical interest is the Natural Science Museum where the main italian meteorite, falling in Alfianello (Brescia area), is exhibited.
"Newton discovers the refraction of light" (Brescia City Art Museum)