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Free (or Cheap) Volunteer Work in Italy

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Free or Cheap Volunteer Work in Italy


Italy is a long standing favourite with WWOOFers who enjoy fine wine, food and weather. Come to think of it, anyone that likes those things will like Italy. Why the hell haven't we gone there yet?


Grassroots Volunteering in Italy

The organisations listed below have either got in touch with us to add their details to this or another of our websites, or we otherwise have reason to believe they are actively looking for international volunteers and charge reasonable or no fees to join in, live and work with them:


Speak offers residential language immersion programmes in Italy, bringing together native English speakers (Anglos) from around the world with Italian professionals in a dynamic environment of authentic English conversation. Mother tongue English speakers, of different ages and from all walks of life, are invited to experience Italy and help Italian learners improve their English through talking.

Where: Tuscany, Lombardy, Puglia and Piedmont.
Accommodation & Costs: There's no cost to participate and Anglos are provided with full board hotel accommodation during the programme dates. Transport from city meeting points in Milan, Turin, Florence or Bari is also laid on.

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Torre Argentina Roman Cat Sanctuary

Torre Argentina is home to 150 cats, sheltered amongst the oldest temples in  Rome. Seven days a week volunteers, feed, clean and look after them. The sanctuary exists mainly because of the generous support of volunteers, with a small core of permanent volunteers, assisted periodically by others living in the city. There no longer seems to be a demand for English speakers to work as guides showng around tourists but there are still plenty of cleaning and food distribution duties to fulfil. The sanctuary looks for people who are outgoing self starters ready to roll up their sleeves and able to commit for at least three months for two/three hours at least twice a week.

Where: Rome.
Accommodation & Costs: There are no costs for getting involved but Torre Argentina does not provide accommodation and does not reimburse expenses.

Volunteering in Italy


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The Associazione Culturale Linguistica Educational is a non profit organisation endorsed by the Italian Ministry of Education. Each summer the association trains and places more than 400 English tutors in camps to teach English tthrough games, sports, drama and songs to Italian children and teenagers. All applicants attend a one week intensive training course on the Italian Riviera, where they learn everything they need to know about teaching English through theatre and play. Once trainee tutors have completed orientation they attend a minimum of three weeks in camps across Italy. Applicants must be native (or near native) English speakers with a passion for teaching.

ACLE have another couple of roles available. They need volunteers year round to help with the upkeep of several medieval houses owned by the association, with the work consisting of six hours a day painting, landscaping, restoring furniture, cleaning, clearing rubble and general maintenance, and maybe some housekeeping if guests are renting some of the houses. Accommodation is provided. They also work with a touring theatre, each year hiring 30 young, energetic native English speaking performers/musicians/teachers with a drama background with Theatre in Education experience.

Where: Across Italy.
Accommodation & Costs: Accommodation, food and transport during and between camps is provided and trainee tutors also receive a study grant, starting at over €500 for your first three weeks in camp, which is based on the number of weeks spent teaching.


Other Opportunities to Volunteer in Italy

Peta, an Australian who lives with her family in a small medieval town in central Italy, sent an ad to our Jobs Abroad Bulletin looking for Native English Speakers to chat with local Italians. At the time they had hosted a small number of travellers over the past 12 months and loved the diversity and interest it created in their home and small town. Her Facebook page can be found here.

The work of building and developing an ecological and sustainable way of life at Torri Superiore wouldn’t be possible without the help of volunteers. They offer two options. The first is working half a day and staying as a paying guest for the other half, for €15 a day. The full work exchange option is available in the summer months only, involves sleeping in tents and helping mainly with cooking and cleaning.

Google couldn't translate their pages, and our Italian certainly isn't up to it, but we recognise the word volontariato so we know LIPU, the Italian League for Bird Protection, are doing something of interest to readers of this site. More clues for non Italian speakers on their anti poaching activities can perhaps be found via their UK supporters.


Help Exchange Networks in Italy

Workaway -
HelpStay -{XID_HASH}
HelpX -

Italian speakers can also use BarattoBB to stay in a B&B in exchange for a few hours of work.


Other Ways to Travel or Stay for Free in Italy

Stay for free in return for caring for local residents' homes or pets. Join Trusted Housesitters to live rent free as a house sitter (Americans may prefer this link). Italy usually has house sits available but, if not, you can get a free $25 Airbnb credit from us here. If you travel with your art, let Rome's The Yellow know and they'll trade you a bed, a pillow and a meal.


Volunteer Experiences*

A Week-In-The-Life of Tony: WWOOFing on A Tuscan Farm - Tony’s decision to quit his job in finance and travel the world with his wife, Meg, led them to a Tuscan Farm.
Stephanie Usry, WWOOF - Stephanie picked grapes, apples and basil on a farm in Italy.
WWOOFing in Italy - Working on an organic vineyard in Tuscany.
Portraits of WWOOFers in Tuscany, Italy - The first in a three part series of photographs of WWOOF volunteers.
Working at a Hostel in Venice, Italy - Working in a hostel for board and drinks provided the author with free board, food, drinks and daily friends, all in a 400 year old palace on the Grand Canal.
Dive Into The Blue World Of Whales And Dolphins. Volunteer In Ischia - Since 2009 Angie Raab has been a regular crew member on the Jean Gab, a 1930s cutter navigating the Italian Island of Ischia.


* not all these volunteer experiences are with grassroots NGOs or low cost organisations

Image courtesy Andrea Schaffer