This small town is located near the Swiss border about 120 kms. from Torino, in the Piemonte region. Piemonte means the foot of the mountain, although Viganella’s case it’s more like the crook of the mountain.
In general most towns in Italy tend to be superbly located… perhaps Viganella came late to the quaint Italian town positioning session. You see, due to its location tucked at the bottom of a steep valley, Viganella ends up without sunlight for 83 days of the year during winter.
That said, in 2006 the Viganellesi decided to take matters in their own hands and built a large mirror on one of the hills far above the town. Mounted on a motor to turn as the sun moves across the sky, it bathes the main piazza and church in sunlight during those dark months (until February 2nd, when natural sunlight returns again which Viganella celebrates with an big annual festa, naturally).
Last year however the motor konked out, and so had to be sent away to be serviced. Fortunately, Viganella’s heliostat is back in working order this year, to the happiness of its residents no doubt.