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Guardamonte is one of those places that makes you admire Italy and its landscapes. When you get to the top of this hill with its altitude of 700 meters, you will see an outstanding view over the hills, woods and over a plain that stretches to the distant Alps.

On the ridge of Guardamonte runs the border between Lombardy and Piedmont. I came to the summit at sunset and the yellow gold fields blended in one with the summer sunset.

Guardamonte is not only a special place for its landscape beauty. It is special also because it was a thriving center of ancient populations. Thanks to the strategic position of that ridge, they settled down here for more than three thousand years.

Due to the distance from the big cities, today it is also a place with less light pollution. For this reason, the astronomical observatory of Guardamonte has arisen here.

Who knows how beautiful it was the starry sky seen from our ancestors when light pollution did not yet exist? Probably this was the question that here led archaeologists to collaborate with astronomers. Both joined by the passion for research and both working on those ridges.

That’s how I discovered this place, thanks to the archaeologist Nicolò Donati, who participated in excavations for years. Together with other colleagues of him, he founded the association “Il Castelliere” that offers tours on that ridge to the discovery of ancient populations. A tour ending at the Astronomical Observatory where astronomers drive the public across endless constellations.

A suggestive path, strolling where the ancients lived, understanding the dynamics of that ancient population. All of this while the light of the day leaves space for the darkness of the night. During the walk, we found on our path a burning furnace, a faithful reconstruction of the kilns used by the ancient to cook the clay. Archaeologists Maria Sole and Stefano tell us, in the dim light of the furnace, as the ancients bake their vases.

While Nicolò and his colleagues fascinate us with stories of other times, I enjoy taking the mobile phone to its technical limits and shooting the cover photo of this post. The forest at dusk with the advancement of people along the ancient path.

As the stars multiply in the celestial vault, I remember the Divine Comedy and the Dantesque Trip: “So we went out to see the stars again.”

Guardamonte is located in Loc. Ca ‘del Monte, Cecima (PV)

For more information visit the website of the “Castelliere” Association and the Astronomical Observatory.

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