Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Computer age brings sun to village in shadow of the Alps - International Herald Tribune:

VIGANELLA, Italy: From mid-November to early February, Viganella lives in the dark shadow of a steep mountain that blocks the sun from casting direct rays on the village, a stone's throw from the Swiss border. For centuries, its citizens have celebrated the sun's return Feb. 2 with a solemn religious procession and a lively auction of local delicacies in the main square.

But this year the guest of honor never really left: Since December, a 40- square-meter, or 430-square-foot, mirror placed on a mountainside above Viganella has been deflecting the sun's rays into the town square, bringing sunlight, of a sort, in winter.

"That had never happened since the time the world began," said Giannino Broggio, Viganella's deputy mayor, who like others deemed the occasion "historic."

7:54 PM