A sun-deprived village in the Italian Alps has come up with a novel solution to fix the problem – by installing a giant mirror.
Viganella is a picturesque village nestled in the Italian Alps, located in the Piedmont region. What makes Viganella stand out is a remarkable engineering project called the “Mirror of the Sun” or “Specchio del Sole” in Italian. This project was initiated to address a natural geographical challenge that left the village in shadow for approximately three months each year.
The town is situated in a deep valley surrounded by high mountains, which effectively blocks direct sunlight during the winter months. As a result, from early November to early February, the village remains in constant shadow, experiencing a prolonged period of darkness. To overcome this, a large mirror was installed on the mountainside opposite the town.
The mirror, measuring about 40 square meters, is controlled by a computerized system that tracks the movement of the sun. Throughout the day, the mirror adjusts its position to reflect sunlight onto the main square of Viganella. This ingenious solution effectively brings sunlight to the town during the winter months, allowing residents to enjoy natural light and warmth even when the sun is below the horizon for the rest of the valley.
The Mirror of the Sun has become a symbol of ingenuity and resilience for the people of Viganella. It has also attracted visitors curious to witness this innovative solution to a unique geographical challenge. The project not only enhances the quality of life for the residents but also showcases human creativity in adapting to the challenges posed by nature in diverse landscapes.