Visiting the Astronomical Observatory of Campo Catino, a delight for the Astrotourist

Love space? Then you must come to the Astronomical Observatory of Campo Catino, in the Ernici mountains at 1500 meters high, one of the most visited observatories by lovers of space and the astrotourists worldwide.

Have you ever watched a starry sky? Have you ever tried to look at the same sky through the telescopes at the Astronomical Observatory of Campo Catino? With the guidance of an expert, pleasures multiply and we can really feel to be a part of a larger universe that surrounds and penetrates us.

The observatory has been managed by Astronomical Frusinate for over 30 years and during that time has been involved in as many as 42 important discoveries: 35 small planets between Mars and Jupiter and 7 extrasolar planets revolving around other stars. The observatory is in fact specialized in observing asteroids and planets.

The research activity is carried out by university researchers in collaboration with other Observatories of the World Network of which the observatory of Campo Catino is a partner. There is active collaboration with scientific partners in Chile, Australia and the USA.

Campo Catino was one of the first observatories to be built in the mountains of Lazio, and today has an enviable location away from the problem of light pollution. Its location on the splendid Ernici Mountains favours the research activities and has given rise to a particular type of tourism, scientific and cultural, in search of unique experiences.

The nearby small town of Guarcino is the natural cultural complement for the scrutineer of the space experience. The medieval village was the birthplace of the mother of the famous Pope Boniface VIII, that of the slap of Anagni, and is a picturesque old town.

The mountains around Campo Catino offer ski slopes in winter and special nature walks in summer. You can enjoy the thrill of following on one of the paths in the footsteps of St. Benedict, the founder of monasticism and a patron saint of Europe. These paths rise in Subiaco and finish in Montecassino.

Your experiences are then enriched with the culinary delights of Guarcino and the Ernici mountains, which have a special type of local prosciutto from pigs reared naturally and features homemade pasta. At the end of lunch the characteristic ‘amaretti’ of Guarcino are then served; this is a particularly tasty dry biscuit made with almonds.

This variety of cultural offerings make it even more attractive to visit to Campo Catino and, in these past 30 years of activities, the Centre has been visited by 140,000 visitors distributed throughout the year and has organized more than 400 events. The passion for the stars knows no season and every month reserves particular experiences for the eyes of the careful scrutineer.

An amateur astronomer, a traveller in search of experiences, will stop at nothing to fulfill his dream with the stars, and in this little corner of the Ciociaria, to the Astronomical Observatory of Campo Catino, astrotourists come from Japan, Australia, China, Canada.

The observatory has also equipped a part of the building for teaching purposes for schools and those wanting to get close for the first time to the study of the stars and planets. It is open 2-3 days a week and one should write an email to make an appointment to be sure to be able to enjoy this little jewel of technology which is now celebrating 30 years of activity.