Second star to the right: A cultural project connecting art, tourism, history and astronomy

Second star to the right: A cultural project connecting art, tourism, history and astronomy

Author: Alessandra Zanazzi – INAF Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri, Italy


  • Chiara Di Benedetto – Bas Bleu Illustration, Italy

We present a project by Italian National Institute for Astrophysics (INAF) and Bas Bleu Illustration, a new format for a valuable cultural experience, connecting Astronomy to Art and History and creating collaborations between different cultural and scientific Institutions on the territory. This project is being carried out in Florence, undoubtedly one of the most visited places in the world: here, since Medieval times, through Renaissance and later, many major monuments are impressively connected to Astronomy and Science was considered a most relevant part of the greatness and cultural identity of the city. Our project aims at connecting Art, History and Science through different media:

The astronomical guidebook of Florence: attractive, simple and not-specialistic describing the Astronomy content of many major monuments and leading the audience to search for Science into artistic masterpieces, historical monuments, churches, museums, places that tell us about illustrious scientists.

(E.g. the Brunelleschi Dome “containing” the tallest sundial in the world; the marble Zodiac in San Miniato Curch; the geographic representation of the known Earth at the time of Cosimo dei Medici in Palazzo Vecchio; Galileo’s house and footprints; etc.; A map and itineraries to explore autonomously those astronomical places; Events such as walking tours with the astronomer, family activities, students’ visits etc.; events carried out in collaboration with the relevant institutions (Churches, Museums, etc); Another guidebook, specifically addressing children and families; Virtual reality enhancements and App deepening (currently under study.

By illustrating the guidebook and the related activities, we will present how we promote the prominent role played by Astronomy and Science, exploring real connections between Science and Society. Raising citizens’ awareness and making them curious about those connections, is a big challenge in order to bring science beyond the borders of its traditional audiences and overcome the perceived dichotomy between the “two cultures”- the humanities and sciences.

Presentation type: Insight talk
Theme: Time