Photo ©Maximiliano Kolus
Pistoia Mountains Astronomical Observatory
Stargazing surrounded by the Apennine peaks, a place of science and teaching to discover the sky
Osservatorio Astronomico della Montagna Pistoiese
Via di Pratorsi - 51028 San Marcello Pistoiese (PT)

The Pistoia Mountains Astronomical Observatory is set among the peaks of the Pistoia Mountains. The structure is dedicated to the exploration of cosmic space and celestial bodies, standing out among the pristine mountain ranges.

Located at about 1000 meters above sea level in Pian de 'Termini in the municipality of San Marcello Piteglio (PT), it was inaugurated in 1990 in the presence of the great astrophysicist Margherita Hack and built by the Municipality of San Marcello Pistoiese with the collaboration of the Province of Pistoia, the Municipality of Piteglio, and the Tuscan Regional Council. The ambitious project was realized to meet the scientific needs of the very active group of amateur astronomers present in the area, and to carry out research and teaching activities that are open to the whole community in order to spread and promote the sciences of the sky.

The observatory is managed by the members of G.A.M.P. (Gruppo Astrofili della Montagna Pistoiese), and is equipped with laboratories, conference rooms, two domes and two telescopes. The state-of-the-art instrumentation was implemented over the years, making it possible to discover the first planet in 1994, later called "Sanmarcello", that was followed by other discoveries including the first NEO (near-Earth object) identified in Italy, an asteroid whose orbit crosses that of Earth.

There are many "nose up" activities open to everyone, both for day and night visits. Even more, on the occasion of important astronomical events such as the passing of comets and eclipses, dedicated events are organized.