To reach it, you drive up a winding road barely big enough for one car. Behind some modern dwellings are the remains of the ruined village of Viganella. It is centuries old and mostly uninhabited. Viganella is a town of the elderly. There are only a few people under 40; most are in their sixties and seventies. Their town is dying and it may soon be a village of ruins.
From November through to February, the town of Viganella is in permanent gloom. The mountains to the south of the town block the low winter sun and for almost four months, there is no place in Viganella that gets any sunlight. This has always been a feature of the village – when it was built here a millennium ago, the inhabitants knew that their winters would be spent in shadow.
The mayor of the town, Franco Midali, at 47, is one of the younger people in the village. A short man with excessive amounts of energy, Franco doesn’t want to see his village die. Franco’s going to do this by constructing a giant mirror on the mountain behind the village to reflect sunlight into the square in Viganella. This is going to encourage people to stay and more people to come to Viganella. It is going to attract tourists from all over the world.