The STARLIGHT Spring School

The STARLIGHT Spring School was held in Pragelato, Italy, from 15th to 19th April 2024

The second School of the STARLIGHT project was held in Pragelato, Italy, from 15th to 19th April 2024. During the week, the fourteen STARLIGHT participants, hosted by the two Italian partners of the project, i.e. GAL EVV and INAF, not only learned about experiential tourism and territorial marketing, but they also put into practice their theoretical knowledge through the creation of an Experience Box.

Indeed, after discovering the village of Pragelato and its surroundings, e.g. Usseaux, Pomaretto, and Fenestrelle, the STARLIGHT participants had the chance to meet with experts and local stakeholders in order to develop an Experience Box consisting of three tour packages specifically designed for the territory of the Chisone Valley.

In particular, the STARLIGHT participants, divided into three groups, created three tourism experiences deeply linked to the territory, namely In Search of the Dahu, a scavenger hunt through the streets of Pragelato and the towns nearby, Night & Natura, a guided hike to Pian dell’Alpe to rediscover our sense of belonging to nature through local myths and legends, and Daherbs, a guided walk in search of the wild edible herbs of the valley with a final stargazing session.

In the true spirit of the Erasmus+ STARLIGHT project, the three experience packages of the Dahu-themed Experience Box are not only meant to enhance the local territory, history, and legends, but also to attract tourists and to allow them to reconnect with nature, away from the chaos and the light pollution of the city.

On the last day of the STARLIGHT Spring School, the participants also had the chance to present their Experience Box at the final multiplier event, hosted by Confcooperative Piemonte and with the participation of  Turismo Torino e Provincia, – Planetarium of Turin, Museum of Astronomy and Space, and CTC Turismo Cooperativo. On this occasion, all of the materials designed by the STARLIGHT participants during the week, from reels to videos and playlists, were shown to the local stakeholders as part of the presentation of their experience packages.

The STARLIGHT Spring School_Press Release

The First Webinar of the STARLIGHT Project

On 4th April 2023 the first webinar of the STARLIGHT project was held.

During the three-hour video conference, a team of international professionals discussed multiple topics related to light pollution, dark skies, and audience engagement.

Firstly, after Greti Manfreda (RDA)’s brief presentation of the agendas of the STARLIGHT webinars, Stefanie Suchy (TyEO) illustrated the importance of the nighttime from a scientific, philosophical, and cultural point of view, as well as the causes and effects of ALAN, i.e. artificial light at night.

Secondly, Sandra Jiménez (FCL) broadened the topic from a biological point of view. Indeed, she focused on the importance of the day-night cycle for different species and the effects of changes in the biorhythms of both animals and human beings due to artificial lighting.

Thirdly, Daniele Gardiol (INAF) showed, by means of the Stellarium software, how to plan a naked-eye observation of the night sky according to space and time constraints, the horizon, and the seasonality of constellations. Furthermore, he highlighted how the storytelling of myths and legends through stargazing can be the perfect medium to engage the audience.

Finally, Enrico Di Nola (INAF) provided a thorough analysis of the theory and practice of storytelling. By providing accurate definitions and examples across multiple media, such as literature, cinema and politics, he demonstrated the innate curiosity of human beings for stories. Moreover, he drew a clear distinction between telling a story and building an effective narrative in order to enable communication through narration.

The first STARLIGHT webinar ended with a group workshop activity and Carlos Fernández Martínez (FCL)’s presentation of the Picos de Europa National Park in Spain, where one of the three schools of the STARLIGHT project will be held.

STARLIGHT Participants Selected!

The participants of the STARLIGHT project have been officially selected.

The group consists of 60 people from all over Europe. Among the participants we can count 30 Italians, 8 Austrians, 8 Bulgarians, 7 Germans, 4 Spaniards, 1 Belgian, 1 Hungarian, and 1 Slovenian.

The members of this multicultural group are students and experienced tourism professionals, who will be able to increase their knowledge and acquire new competences in the field of Astrotourism thanks to the STARLIGHT Toolkit, but not only. Indeed, our educational Webinars will begin soon.

In particular, we will start on 4th April 2023 with the first webinar that will focus on the following topics: scientific popularisation on astronomy and biodiversity, light pollution and dark skies, environment and nightlife, astronomy and stargazing, and audience engagement through storytelling.

Then, on 8th May 2023, the second webinar will address the topic of experiential tourism and some case studies will be both presented and analysed. Finally, on 22nd May 2023, the third and final webinar will cover the topics of entrepreneurship and territorial and digital marketing.

During each webinar, one of the three Schools will be presented in order to start discussing with the participants their future field experience in Bansko, Luserna San Giovanni or the Picos de Europa National Park. Indeed, over the next year and a half, all of our 60 participants will be given the opportunity to participate in a 5-day stay in Bulgaria, Italy or Spain with a view to further enriching their knowledge and putting it into practice.