I am an itinerant astro-photographer: an amateur astronomer who likes the outdoor life that cannot wait to long for loading the car with the equipment and everything necessary to spend the night outdoors.
Every month I wait for the new moon week to organize with friends the astrophotogrfy session and chooseing the destination. As soon as the weather conditions allow it, we leave to reach the location with the best seeing. After years of activity I have limited myself to two places with different characteristics in order to have an alternative: one in the high mountains at the observatory of Saint-Barthélemy in Val d’Aosta and the other at the Piano dell’Armà a location on the Apennine Montagne near Pavia at the edge of Liguria.
Saint Barthélemy – AO ( 1.700 m l.m.)
At the observatory’s Saint Barthélemy it is possible to use the pitches with power electricity for instrumentation. During the new moon nights there are always some amateur astronomers and therefore you never spend the night alone. The proximity of the village of Saint Barthelemy obviously offers logistical comforts compared to the alternative of the Piano dell'Armà. I can get accommodation and delicious hot meal up there
Wide view of the sky in all directions, a single flaw is the brightness of the valley and the city of Turin that limit the observations to the south. Wind can also be a problem, since there is no protection for the telescopes on the observing field. The quality of the sky is outmost good SQM 21.30 – 21.40.
Pratone al Piano dell’Armà – PV ( 1.400 m l.m.)
Piano Dell'Armà is a historic location for Lombard astronomers, with a few hours drive from the Lombard capital you reach the location through a rough road and once with some yielding of the hill.
The observation field is protected from the mountain to the west, the wing can only be a problem if it is blown from the east. There is no local light pollution, so the darkness of the sky is quite good, around 21.1m-21.4m. There is only a lighting radar at the top in front of the mountain giving some noise.There is no local light pollution, so the darkness of the sky is quite good, around 21.1m-21.4m. Seeing is variable, can be good and bad as well, depending on the weather.