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Volunteer opportunities in ITALY

Restoration of an ancient cave village in the archeological park Cava Ispica
Cava Ispica, Sicilia          June 28 - July 12, 2015

Volunteer project: Cava Ispica can be considered as one of the most enchanting naturalistic areas of the whole region and it is also an important historical site that dates back to prehistoric times. Moreover, the historical centre of Modica is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The project mainly aims to recover the Cava Ispica archeological and natural walking area, particularly Pernamazzoni area in the municipality of Modica. It is a place full of archeological sites (catacombs, Byzantine churches, Paleolithic tombs, cave settlement) along a natural canyon called cave. Detailed information will be placed in the area to describe the archeological monuments (about 30) and give directions for every trail (about 3). One of the main activities will be the cleaning and recovering of the cave village of Pernamazzoni, by the recovering of old frames and the construction of small fences and stairs. The cleaning of the trails will be useful to prevent fire; the trails are also a protection for the vegetation and the special biodiversity of the cave.

The project activities will take place in the "Archaeological Park Cava Ispica". Volunteers will cut and mow grass by appropriate manual means; mechanical means will be used only by local volunteers. Volunteers will also have the following tasks: repairing fences, painting and putting signage, cleaning of the cave settlement, recovering existing trails, construction of wooden stairs.

Language: English

Leisure time: After work, the volunteers will participate in tours to Baroque towns (Modica, Scicli, Ragusa, Noto), trips to impressive sites like Fiume Cassibile and Pantalica, entertainment with folk music and Sicilian historical movies, sea trips. The group can make trekking excursions in the south-east part of Sicily and to the sea.

Accommodation: Volunteers will be hosted in a rural house located near the Archaeological Park of Cava Ispica. Volunteers will have fruits and vegetables in season, bread and homemade pizza, pasta, a little meat.

Location: Cava d'Ispica is a 13 km natural canyon, near the towns of Modica, Rosolini and Ispica, surrounded by the typical Mediterranean vegetation of South East Sicily. The cave is one of the most beautiful naturalistic sites of the whole Sicily and represents an important historic site from prehistoric time to the middle ages. The Historical centre of Modica and the Val di Noto Valley are part of the UNESCO Heritage Sites in Italy.

Terminal: Airport of Catania “Fontanarossa International”; Siracusa Railway station

Age range: 18 and over 

                                                                                                         

 

Trail maintenance and cleaning of mountain areas in the Orobie Alps
Alpe Dosso, Lombardia          July 5 - July 18, 2015

Volunteer project: The Valtellina Orobie Valtellinesi Mountain Park covers the northern side of the Orobie Alps chain and it is characterized by deep and almost parallel valleys that drop steeply towards the plain valley crossed by Adda river. We have been collaborating for years with the Park and local municipalities to enhance the value of these important valleys with their historical richness, culinary traditions and biodiversity.
Alpe Dosso (1500 m above sea level) is a mountain pasture, located in the wildest of these valleys, Val Lesina. Due to its harshness, the Valley has never been urbanized, so that it has been almost entirely preserved in its original natural environment rich in vegetation and animals. It is an ideal place to experience life away from the city and in close contact with nature in the Alps.

The objective of the volunteer project is to enhance the sustainable tourism potential of the area, favoring support for quality agricultural production against the exploitation of the ski valley.
Volunteers will be involved in the cleaning and maintenance of paths, woods and pastures.

Study part: In collaboration with botanists of the park, we will explore the topics of the "Natura 2000" program for the protection of biodiversity.

Special requirements: Ability and predisposition to walk and work on mountain paths, interest in nature. A motivation letter is required with application.

Language: English

Accommodation: The volunteers will be hosted in an alpine hut, which is reached after two hours of walking up a steep path.

Location: Alpe Dosso, 1.500 m above sea level in Lesina Valley, in the Orobie Valtellinesi Park, Sondrio district, Lombardia region, North of Italy.

Terminal: Milan International Airports or Bergamo Orio al Serio Airport, Morbegno railway station

Age range: 18 and over

                                                                                                         

 

Restoration of protected areas and trail improvement in Tuscany
Carmignano, Toscana          July 11 - July 25, 2015

Volunteer project: Poggio alla Malva is a small village in Tuscany, situated in a wonderful area near Carmignano of high archaeological interest. The area is close to the most important artistic cities of Tuscany, like Florence, Siena, Volterra, Pistoia. The surrounding landscape is the typical Tuscany one, rich in woods, hills and olive trees.

This is the second international volunteer project to be hosted in Poggio alla Malva after the successful start last summer. The volunteers will be involved in protection of natural areas, trekking and improving touristic and historical pathways which surround the municipality of Carmignano, and will take part in the life of local communities. The project is organised in cooperation with the cultural and environmental office of the Municipality of Carmignano. The aim is to enhance the touristic, historical and naturalist routes of the protected areas as well as promote from an international point of view the small villages of Carmignano.

Volunteers' main tasks will be recovering and cleaning up protected areas, especially trails (removing overgrowth and invasive plants, signposting, etc.).

Language: English

Accommodation: Volunteers will be hosted in a kindergarten.

Location: Poggio alla Malva, Carmignano, Prato, Toscana

Terminal: Closest airports are: Pisa, Florence, Bologna. Closest train stations are: Prato centrale, Firenze centrale, Pistoia Centrale and Signa local train station

Age range: 18 and over

                                                                                                         

 

Maintenance of green areas and pasture lands in Bitto valley
Gerola Alta, Lombardia          July 12 - July 25, 2015

Volunteer project: Gerola Alta, located at 1050 m above sea level, is one of the towns that lie within The Valtellina Orobie Mountain Park. The Orobie Alps is the first alpine chain you meet, as you come north along the Great Plain of Lombardia region. The Park covers the northern side of the chain and it is characterized by deep and almost parallel valleys that drop steeply towards the plain valley crossed by Adda river. We have been collaborating for years with the Park and local municipalities to enhance the value of these important valleys with their historical richness, culinary traditions and biodiversity. The valley where the project will take place is well known because of its landscape with beautiful alpine lakes, but also because of the important production of a typical cheese called Bitto.

The international volunteers will be involved in the maintenance of paths, woods and pastures.

Special remarks: Predisposition to live, walk and work in the mountains is required.

Language: English

Accommodation: The volunteers will be hosted in an apartment.

Location: Gerola Alta, in the middle of Bitto Valley of Albaredo - Orobie Valtellinesi Park, Sondrio district, Lombardia region, Northern Italy.

Terminal: Milan International Airports or Orio al Serio Bergamo International Airport; Morbegno Railway Station

Age range: 18 and over

                                                                                                         

 

Environmental maintenance activities along the river Lanza
Bizzarone, Lombardia          July 13 - July 27, 2015

Volunteer project: The Valle della Lanza Park is located between the provinces of Como and Varese in an area well known for its lakes. It includes the Lanza River till its end into the Olona River. The valley is covered with several kinds of vegetation and rich in animals’ presence. The park was born with the final aim to safeguard the valley from the expansion of the urban areas and in order to improve sustainable tourism. The paths' net of the valley is very important because it's part of the “green way” connecting Milano's area to Switzerland. Volunteers will be working in collaboration with the local Risk prevention voluntary team.

Volunteers will be in charge of paths’ cleaning and maintenance, especially of a road along the river that will be used as bike's path.

Language: English

Accommodation: Volunteers will be hosted in a gym provided with camp beds and with a self managed canteen.

Location: Bizzarone, Como district, Lombardia Region, a little village near the Switzerland border.

Terminal: Milan International Airports / Malnate Railway Station.

Age range: 18 and over

                                                                                                         

 

Preserving the natural heritage in Piemonte
Chiaverano, Piemonte          July 22 - August 4, 2015

Volunteer project: Chiaverano is a small village located at the foot of the Western Italian Alps in Torino district, Piedmont region. As a former rural village, linked to the mountain environment, the area is characterized by ancient walls, terraces, huts made of carved stones, streams that water cultivations and activate water mills. In collaboration with local organizations, the Chiaverano Council Administration has implemented a program aiming to preserve and maintain the local environment. Aside work, volunteers will enjoy sports and excursions, as well as local culture and traditions, surrounded by nature.

The project consists mainly in the restoration of paths leading to the Ivrea border in order to allow access to the hills from the countryside on foot in a nice environment of woods and lakes. Furthermore, touristic indications will be developed and put in place. Volunteers will be involved in maintaining sign posts, pruning bushes, clearing brambles, and restoring stone walls and fences. Other activities could be helping experts to organise events and excursions on naturalistic and anthropological themes. During the project, the international volunteers will have the opportunity to learn about the region and its culture.

Language: English

Accommodation: Volunteers will be hosted in a hostel in Chiaverano village.

Location: Chiaverano is a small village in Piedmont region, in the largest European Morenic Amphitheatre. The landscape is full of woods and lakes. The nearest town is Ivrea, known in the world as the headquarter of Olivetti, the most important Italian manufacturer of computers, tablets, smartphones and printers

Terminal: Airports: Torino Caselle, Milano Malpensa, Milano Linate, Bergamo Orio al Serio. Railway station: Ivrea

Age range: 18 and over

                                                                                                         

 

Preserving the archaeological sites of the Pantalica Necropolis
Sortino, Sicily          July 27 - August 10, 2015

Volunteer project: The Necropolis of Pantalica contains over 5,000 tombs cut into the rock near open stone quarries, most of them dating from the 13th to 7th centuries BC. Vestiges of the Byzantine era also remain in the area, notably the foundations of the Anaktoron (Prince’s Palace). Pantalica is situated in the valleys of the rivers Anapo and Calcinara. Together with the city of Syracuse, Pantalica has been included in the UNESCO List of World Heritage Sites.

The project will take place in different locations: the archaeological sites of the Pantalica Necropolis, the Anapo Valley and the Heritage site of Santa Sofia. Volunteers will be involved in different activities in these archaeological areas around Sortino: cleaning paths, monitoring and raising awareness among tourists, helping a local group in the organization of social and cultural events.

Language: English

Accommodation: The volunteers will be hosted in an ancient building from the XVIth century, which has been recently renovated.

Location: Sortino is located on the Iblei Mounts, Siracusa district, eastern Sicily, South Italy.

Terminal: Catania International Airport, Siracusa train station.

Age range: 18 and over

                                                                                                         

 

Building a nature trail and restoring an old windmill in Sicily
Troina, Sicily          July 28 - August 11, 2015

Volunteer project: Over the centuries, Troina has been a stronghold for all the civilizations, which have occupied Sicily and in the 11th century it was the Norman capital, thanks to its position and the advantage of detecting enemies from a distance. Lake Ancipa is located 944 m above sea level and is situated in an enchanting Alpine scenery. It is the highest lake in Sicily and is rich in different species of animals and plants both on land and in the water. It is part of the Nebrodi Regional park.

The local environmental group has been managing the area around Lake Ancipa since 2001, with the aim to support the small town of Troina in its efforts to develop and host sustainable tourism. The international volunteer project is also an opportunity for the local population to meet and get in contact with people from different countries. Some students from the local schools will be involved in the project along with the international volunteers.

The volunteers will be involved in the restoration of the path around the lake and in the building of a nature trail. Volunteers will be also involved in the upgrading of an old windmill. The work will consist in cleaning up and clearing the underground of the church.

Language: English

Accommodation: The volunteers will be hosted in a school in Troina with beds and a kitchen.

Location: Troina is a little town in the province of Enna, in the hinterland of Sicily, 1120 m above sea level.

Terminal: The nearest airport is Fontana Rossa in Catania; the nearest railway station is Stazione Centrale in Catania.

Age range: 18 and over

                                                                                                         

 

Maintenance of paths and mountain meadows in Campo Dei Fiori Park
Brinzio, Lombardia          August 3 - August 17, 2015

Volunteer project: The Natural Park “Campo Dei Fiori” overlooks the hills of the Province of Varese and the Po Plain. The particular geographical location and the geological features have favoured the presence of various vegetation, with chestnut tree and beech tree woods, typical flora of the rocky areas, marshy and peaty zones, rich in wildlife. In addition, there are several interesting historical and architectural sites around the area. The project’s aim is the improvement of opportunities for “green” tourism in order to prevent abandonment and degradation of the region.

Volunteers will work mainly in paths cleaning and maintenance in a garden around a historical building and in removing weeds from meadows at the top of the mountain.

Special remarks: Volunteers will use bicycles.

Language: English

Accommodation: Volunteers will be hosted in a common room with camp beds. A camp kitchen will be available.

Location: Brinzio, in the Province of Varese, Lombardia region, North of Italy. Brinzio is located about 60 km northwest of Milan and about 8 km northwest of Varese.

Terminal: Milano Malpensa, Varese train station

Age range: 18 and over

                                                                                                         

 

Environmental and historic preservation of the area of Lavino Hot Springs
Scafa, Abruzzo          August 4 - August 19, 2015

Volunteer project: The Regional Park of Lavino Hot Springs has a huge archaeological, historical and environmental importance thanks to its peculiar hot springs, the old mineral caves, the canals and an old water mill.
The volunteers’ tasks include the restoration and conservation of the area of Sulphurous Sources of the Lavino River and the Mill of the 1600. The main actions will be: the restoration of the Mill and of some paths that are among the most used by tourists.

Volunteers will be involved in cleaning paths, maintaining the equipped areas, cleaning the area adjacent to the 17th-century flour mill, fed by the Sulphurous Sources of the Lavino river, and contributing to the organisation of local events.

Language: English

Accommodation: Volunteers will stay in a guesthouse near the Park.

Location: Scafa, a lovely small village in Abruzzo, near Pescara, in Central Italy, about 170 km from Rome. The volunteers will work in the Sulphurous Sources Park of Lavino.

Terminal: Roma International airports; Chieti train station

Age range: 18 and over

                                                                                                         

 

Environmental preservation of a stopover site for migratory birds
Sorico, Lombardia          September 6 - September 19, 2015

Volunteer project: The Natural Reserve of Pian di Spagna and Lago di Mezzola was established in 1985 to ensure a suitable environment for the stop-over and the nesting of the migratory birds, to protect the nature and the landscapes characteristic of the humid zone, to regulate and control the fruition of the area for didactic-recreational purposes and to regulate the socio-economic activities present in the area with respect to the conservation needs of the environment. This half-marshy zone, formed by a gradual mud deposit transported by Adda river, is covered by thick groves of reeds and many animal and plant species live here. For this reason, any alteration of this habitat would be a threat for its precious biodiversity. We are committed to preventing the indiscriminate consumption of soil and protecting the biodiversity of the area.

The team of international volunteers will be involved in the environmental maintenance and preservation of the area and preventing the invasion of weeds. Besides, they will assist the park’s staff in active ringing of birds.

Language: English

Accommodation: The volunteers will be hosted in a guesthouse.

Location: Sorico, Como, Lombardia

Terminal: Milano International Airports, Bergamo airport; Colico train station

Age range: 18 and over

                                                                                                         

 

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Cadip volunteer project review:

          "One month after our volunteer project in San Benedetto Po, Italy, my wife and I are still thinking/feeling the same as during and immediately after the project. It was a great project and a wonderful experience. The other volunteers and the people organizing the project were kind, and friendly and helpful. The work was sometimes challenging so we slept well at night and we got a lot of satisfaction from meeting new people from different countries and hopefully we did our little share to help "make a difference".
We got to see part of the real Italy, not just the touristy part where all you really meet is other tourist. Anyway, it was a great experience and we will cherish many memories from our experience and someday possible meet again some of our new friends.
We hope to do another project in the next year or two. Thank you."

Jerome B.,
Cadip volunteer 2009 and 2011
and Nicole C.,
Cadip volunteer 2011