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Star tourism is closer than we think: an experience based on darkness, nature, wishes

Stargazing with the naked eye is more than a tourist experience that combines a passion for astronomy, curiosity about the night sky and a desire to experience direct contact with nature. Perhaps it is more of a primal call, a search for absolute darkness in order to get closer to the universe.

There are dozens of destinations that are ideal for this kind of experience that we could recount, thanks to the presence of protected natural areas, national parks and biosphere reserves, which guarantee the preservation of the environment and the quality of the sky.

Tourists who seek these kinds of ventures are people who love silence, tranquility and contemplation. They are often solo travelers or in small groups, who get away from the daily routine and go in search of a sense of time and space. They are attracted to the opportunity to observe astronomical phenomena such as constellations, moon phases, shooting stars, eclipses and comets. They hunger for knowledge and to hear the stories once told under the starry skies, a sign of tradition and culture in the places they visit, especially those related to the relationship between man and the sky.

Stargazing with the naked eye can be a development opportunity for destinations with a vocation for outdoor activities, as it can create a diverse and seasonally adjusted tourist demand. In fact, this experience can be practiced at any time of the year, depending on the astronomical phenomena present and weather conditions. Combined with a trek, in a glamping in the middle of nature, a sky dome, or with a glass of wine in the moonlight.

One must always remember that nighttime darkness is a natural and cultural resource to be preserved.

Imagine you are on the small Greek island of Astypalea in the Dodecanese, surrounded by crystal clear sea and the scent of flowers. The light of the villages is long gone and you wander into a hidden cove, lie down on the soft sand and look up at the sky. You feel part of the universe and experience a feeling of peace and wonder. For fun you try to indulge in the luxury of recognizing a few constellations. Here the sky is so clean and dark that you can observe the stars with the naked eye without any disturbance.

Or why not have this experience in an ancient medieval village in the green heart of Umbria, perched on a hill among olive trees and vineyards. You settle down on a pillow and wrap yourself in a warm blanket. The stars are so numerous and bright that they seem very close. Every now and then you see one fall and make a wish. You feel in harmony with nature and experience a sense of joy and wonder.

Do you recognize the constellations? Have you ever taken part in a nighttime expedition in search of stars and wishes to make?

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