Immersed in 37,500 square metres of the green of the public gardens (Giardini Pubblici), the Planetarium of Ravenna is just behind the Mar Museum.
Inaugurated in 1985, with a dome 8 metres in diameter and 56 seats, it hosts conferences, seminars and themed events.
In the summer evenings, the planetarium also hosts special meetings to observe the sky through a telescope from the above terrace.
After all, Ravenna’s fascination with astronomy has ancient origins: just think about the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, with its magnificent mosaic vault decorated with stars in the deep blue sky.
The beating heart of the planetarium is the ZKP 2 Zeiss projector. This machine is able to project an artificial image of the sky, as it is with the unaided eye under the best environmental conditions.
More than six thousand stars are visible thanks to this projector: we are talking about two hemispheres, from the polar star to the Magellanic Clouds, from the constellation of Cassiopeia to the southern constellation of Crux, not to mention the five planets known since Antiquity—Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn—and much, much more.
The visit to the planetarium is very popular with pupils and teachers alike, because astronomy can easily connect with other subjects, such as literature, history, physics, geography, mythology and poetry, making it an effective tool for the understanding of nature and life.
Besides, the planetarium has been housing several events that combine the fascination of stars with the world of music, theatre and performing art in general, for evenings of magic.