Welcome to the astronomical observatory of Canossa

The Canossa observatory was founded in 2016 with the aim to divulge knowledge of the Universe that surrounds us to the general public.

Situated at an elevation of 550m in the middle of green hills and at the border of the Tuscan-Emilian National Park, the observatory boasts a wonderful view in an oasis of tranquility. It isn’t just a place of culture, but also an enjoyable venue to spend a few moments of detachment from our hectic lives or to find refreshment during hot summer nights.

Apart from the journey to the stars under the guidance of an expert, the Canossa observatory offers a cup of tea, coffee or a nibble of  some of the region’s typical delicacies, all homemade.

Who are we

Peter Vercauteren, of Flemish origin but being an Italian resident since 2010, bought his first telescope in 1981 at the age of 12, saving every penny. In 1983 he successfully completed the basic astornomy course at the royal observatory of Antwerp, Belgium. In 1985 he became an astronomy teacher and in 1988 head of the youth department at the same observatory.

During his 40 years of experience, he’s observed with every kind of telescope and he has built two of them at home. From an early age he specialised in astronomical sketching, about which he’s written a book, and his works are being published by the leading astronomy magazines in the whole World.

He has already passed on his passion to a great many people and looks forward to welcoming you too for an unforgettable journey into our Universe.

The telescope

The Canossa observatory puts the biggest binoscope in Italy at the disposal of its guests: a binoscope with two 18″ mirrors, built by  Arie Otte of Holland in 2016.

This binoscope doesn’t just offer the advantage to be able to observe with both eyes, but will give you an unequalled experience of total immersion, as if you were truly floating in space.

Important information

We advise you to bring a red torch or to install a red torch app on your mobile phone. Red light doesn’t inhibit night vision, necessary to observe with a telescope, whereas it allows you to move about safely in the dark.


The prices are per person and include the assistance of our guide, an unlimited time at the telescope and coffee, tea or a non-alcoholic drink.

We prefer not to accept groups of more than 8 people to ensure that everyone gets the opportunity to take their time at the telescope and to reduce waiting times to a minimum.

Booking is required.

Adults: €15
Children up to 12 years: €10

(The minimum total for the whole evening is €40.)

For snacks or other services, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Opening Hours and Contacts

The Canossa Observatory is open every clear night, also on Sundays and public holidays!

Canossa Observatory

Via Roncovetro 40

42026 Canossa (RE)

cell.: 3402404019