In Brief

How a small village overcame geographical odds to bring sunlight to their doorstep.

This is a heartwarming story of a small Italian village that overcame a geographical challenge to literally make the sun shine on it. Viganella has a population of just 185 people who are happy to live in this sleepy little place, even if it means going without direct sunlight for three winter months a year (courtesy of a steep mountain that blocks the sun). A few years ago, a local architect had a light bulb moment and proposed the idea to build a giant mirror that would reflect sunlight onto the village. With the mayor’s support, funds were raised and the giant mirror was installed high above the village, operated by a computer to move it with the sun’s path all day long, enlightening the village. What’s more, villagers can order sunlight on demand by asking the authorities to position the mirror at their place when needed.

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