Italy, from space
In his “Orlando Furioso” (“The Frenzy of Orlando”), Ludovico Ariosto (1474-1533) has Astolfo land on the moon and look down onto the Earth. In the famous epic poem, the paladin cannot bring the planet into perfect focus because it is luminous:
And that he both his eyes behoved to strain, / If he would view Earth’s circling seas and land; / In that, by reason of the lack of light, / Their images attained to little height.
Let’s imagine how impressed Ariosto would be, some 500 years after his masterpiece was first published, to see photographs from the Sojuz taken during the “Expedition 42” mission, which the ESA (European Space Agency) carried out between November 2014 and June 2015.
The crew of the mission included Samantha Cristoforetti, the first Italian astronaut woman to go on a mission in space – who stayed in orbit for 199 days.
Here are finally some of the beautiful lights Astolfo was unable to see: Italian lights.