Caprile Observatory is a small private-owned astronomical observatory located in the Apennine Mountain ridge of Tuscany, Italy.

Photo gallery

The Observatory is the result of a complete DIY project from Niccol├▓ Coli (myself) and Marco Cipriani, two passionate astrophotographers who joined forces in summer 2020 to design and build the structure and the electronics / automation.

Assembly of the structure (August 2020)
Caprile Observatory during the final phases of construction (September 2020)

The philosophy behind the project was to create an eco-friendly structure that would perfectly blend with the surrounding natural landscape, providing all the functionalities to be remotely-controlled from the city.

The choice ended up with a 2x2m roll-off housing realized in local chestnut wood, fir and polywood, with minimal use of concrete.

New painting for the observatory in summer 2021

For details about the construction phases and the challenges we faced, take a look at Marco’s blog here.

Update September 2021: during summer 2021 the observatory went through a complete re-painting of the exterior surfaces with a high protective coating against blue stain, mould and rotting.

Open observatory
“The Doors of Hell”
The Observatory withstanding the first heavy snowstorm in winter 2021

Conveniently located in one of the very few remaining low light polluted areas in the region (Bortle 4, 20.9 mag/arcsec2), and with almost 360┬░ unobstructed view from 30deg altitude, the observatory constitutes an ideal spot for both broadband and narrowband DSO astrophotography of galaxies and gas nebulae.

Imaging session August 2021
The sky above the Observatory, Stellarium view