Sustainable Farming Volunteering in Rome - Italy
Curious about Sustainable Farming volunteering in Italy - Rome? International Volunteer HQ’s Sustainable Farming project empowers volunteers to get their hands dirty in the beautiful gardens at one of Rome’s many parks. Volunteers work side by side with migrants, refugees and asylum seekers, as well as with people with disabilities, the elderly and even children. Taking part in this hands-on initiative with a focus on multiculturalism, sustainability and ecology enables these groups to gain professional skills and increase social inclusion and engagement which can improve their quality of life.
- Programs start every first and third Monday of the month
- Affordable fees from CA$1165 for 2 weeks
- Includes accommodation, breakfast and dinner, airport pick up, orientation and 24/7 support
Empower the acquisition of professional skills for marginalized people
Enjoy Italy’s legendary art, culture and cuisine
Stay in an eco-friendly lodge not far from Vatican City
Who is this program suited to?
What to expect and how you'll make an impact
The Sustainable Farming project gives volunteers a taste of the Roman countryside while supporting a social integration model and assisting with a range of seasonal tasks. The goal of this project is to maximize production and help with the care of vegetables and aromatic plants in the garden while also empowering the acquisition of professional skills for asylum seekers and other disadvantaged groups of people working with you.
As a Sustainable Farming volunteer you’ll be working in one of Rome’s historic parks, helping with a range of activities that vary according to the season and local priorities. You can expect to do some of the following:
- Planting, weeding, watering and general care for the garden which hosts a collection of plants typical to the Mediterranean area
- Cultivating and harvesting vegetables and legumes in the large garden
- Craft workshop activities creating objects of various designs using waste or recyclable materials
- Urban beekeeping and honey production
- Taking care of farm animals
- Multi-ethnic cooking sessions
- Helping with events and the sale of handicraft and food products
- Running playful design workshops for children
- Urban redevelopment interventions, entirely with recycled material
Any profits resulting from these activities go back to the projects in which the workers are involved, as well as to other local non-profits associations involved in supporting social issues.
Why do Sustainable Farming volunteering in Rome with IVHQ?
When you volunteer on the Sustainable Farming project in Rome you’ll be adding value to the local community, while also developing personally and professionally by:
- Improving the employability of marginalized people
- Using sustainable methods to support communities
- Practicing your Italian
- Developing your communication skills
- Learning new practical skills
- Gaining agriculture and horticulture experience
- Immersing yourself in Italian culture
- Exploring the beauty of Italy’s charming capital city
- Volunteers under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian to participate in this program
- All volunteers aged 13+ are required to provide a criminal background check to IVHQ prior to departure. Those aged 13-17, if unable to obtain a criminal background check, can provide two character reference letters instead
- All volunteers are required to have adequate volunteer travel insurance
- All volunteers must speak fluent English.
Italy photo gallery
Rome is and has been many things - the capital of Italy, the Eternal City and the center of the ancient Roman empire. It is both brimming with reminders of bygone eras and teeming with dynamic, modern industry and entertainment. It’s also the setting of IVHQ’s Italy - Rome program, and volunteer placements are located throughout the wider city area.
Like any major city, there is a socio-economic divide in Rome and the people who fall on the disadvantaged side of this face a host of challenges. Volunteers can help make a difference to their lives by providing essential support to local initiatives designed to address these issues and others that affect the community.
Arrival and orientation
The program orientation in Rome begins on the second and fourth Monday of each month and lasts for a full day. Volunteers need to arrive in Rome on the Sunday before orientation.
After you have registered for the program, please book your flights to arrive at Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport (FCO). You can also arrive into Ciampino–G. B. Pastine International Airport (CIA) but should expect you may need to wait to be picked up. Your airport pick-up is included in your Program Fee.
When you arrive, you will be greeted at the airport by a member of the local team and taken to the volunteer accommodation in Rome. Your accommodation is covered by your Program Fee and includes the night before your program orientation.
If you are traveling in Italy prior to your volunteer program and arriving overland, we can arrange for you to be picked up from a central meeting point in Rome on the Sunday before orientation.
Orientation is hosted by our Italy team in Rome. It begins the morning of your chosen start date and lasts for a full day. The orientation covers everything you need to know for your volunteer program in Rome – an introduction to Italy, culture and customs, rules and expectations, safety, travel opportunities, and a tour of the local area. The orientation will also give you a chance to meet other volunteers with whom you can swap contact details for weekend travel and socializing.
Your specific placement orientation will be held the following day and you will be shown how to travel to and from your placement, receive an introduction to your placement, and then complete a few hours of volunteering.
Volunteer schedule example
After your program orientation, you will have a morning, afternoon or evening volunteer shift at your placement and will work for approximately 3 to 5 hours per day. Your schedule will vary depending on the needs of your particular project. A typical schedule is as follows:
|6.00 AM||Breakfast begins at the volunteer accommodation and is available until 9:00 AM.|
|8.00 AM||Travel to your volunteer placement to join local placement staff and begin work on your project. Please note that some placements run in the afternoon and volunteers on these placements will have the morning free to use as they wish or to attend Italian language lessons.|
|12.00 - 1:00 PM||Lunch break. Buy your own lunch from Rome’s many excellent cafes and eateries. After lunch, volunteers will continue volunteer work (where applicable).|
|1.00 PM||Volunteers with afternoon or evening shifts travel to placement to join local placement staff and begin work on their project.|
|6.30 - 10:30 PM||Dinner at the volunteer accommodation. After dinner, you will have the remainder of the evening free to relax and use as you wish.|
On weekends, you can spend your free time discovering why Rome is one of the most popular and revered tourist destinations in the world. For a start, you can visit monuments to ancient history like the Colosseum, check out Vatican City, see Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel, explore the Pantheon and throw coins into the Trevi Fountain.
Once you’ve ticked off those iconic experiences you can relax and find out which of the rest of Rome’s numerous attractions you’ll see next. It might be any one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites, the perfect authentic carbonara or a steaming cup of espresso, touring ancient churches, checking out the nightlife of buzzy Trastevere or stumbling upon the latest in fashion on one of Rome’s best shopping streets, Via del Corso.
If you’re ready for a change of scene, you can take a quick weekend train trip to see the ancient ruins of Pompeii, or Naples - the home of pizza. Nature lovers should also factor in a visit to the beautiful Amalfi Coast to complete the precipitous and spectacular Walk of the Gods. Volunteers staying for longer durations, or who wish to travel before or after their program, can visit areas further afield in Italy, including Venice, Cinque Terre, Florence, Milan, Pisa and much more. You can make travel arrangements once you arrive in Rome with the advice and guidance of our expert local team.
Accommodation and WiFi
Volunteers are accommodated in a dormitory-style camping lodge in Rome. You can expect to share a room with one or two other volunteers of the same gender. Bedding and towels are provided, and there are shared western bathrooms. Staff will clean the accommodation throughout the week, however volunteers are required to keep their rooms tidy.
The lodge has a large pool as well as other social and game facilities for volunteers to enjoy in their free time.
WiFi is available at the volunteer accommodation, as well as at many cafes and restaurants in the area. To keep connected, the local team will provide you with a free local SIM card that you can activate to purchase mobile data for an unlocked mobile phone.
Private single, twin or double rooms in the camping lodge, with the use of the communal bathrooms, can be arranged at an additional cost.
Volunteers are provided with breakfast and dinner each day as part of the program.
Breakfast is self-serve at the accommodation and available from 7:00 AM to 9:00 AM. Breakfast generally includes tea, coffee, bread, croissants, sweets, cheese, ham, spreads, cereal, yogurt, and fruit.
Dinner is served between 6:30 PM and 10:30 PM and includes local staples such as pasta, vegetables, and salad.
Lunch is not provided and we recommend you budget about CA$13 per day to buy it from the excellent local shops, cafes and restaurants nearby. These are easily accessible both close to placements and the accommodation.
Tap water is fine to drink in Rome and the accommodation has a fountain of drinkable water where you can refill your reusable bottle. However, bottled water is also readily available if you prefer and you should budget approximately US$10 (approximately CA$13) per week for this.
Due 30 days before you start, or within 48 hours if you register inside of 30 days. Covers the cost of hosting you.
|2 weeks||CA$1165 Equivalent to CA$84/day|
|3 weeks||CA$1581 Equivalent to CA$76/day|
|4 weeks||CA$1998 Equivalent to CA$72/day|
|5 weeks||CA$2414 Equivalent to CA$69/day|
|6 weeks||CA$2831 Equivalent to CA$68/day|
|8 weeks||CA$3664 Equivalent to CA$66/day|
|10 weeks||CA$4497 Equivalent to CA$65/day|
|12 weeks||CA$5330 Equivalent to CA$64/day|
- Breakfast and dinner
- 24/7 in-country support
- In-country program orientation
- Pre-departure support from your Program Manager
- Airport pick-up
- Personalized preparation tools, guides and check lists
- Access to IVHQ’s preferred insurance and flights partners
- Certificate of International Volunteering
- All programs attract a Registration Fee of CA$389 in addition to the Program Fee. This covers all pre-departure support services. IVHQ fees are priced in USD but you may elect to pay in CAD.
- A 5% international banking fee is added at point of payment.
- Additional things to budget for include: Visa, flights, travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, criminal background check, lunch, public transport to and from your placement each day and return to the airport when your program finishes.
- Recommended spending money: Volunteers in Rome generally find US$200 to be sufficient for weekly expenses, including transport and miscellaneous spending.
- Please note: You will need to budget an extra US$3 per night for the Rome Tourist Tax, paid directly to the accommodation upon arrival.
Italian language lessons
Fluency in Italian is not a prerequisite for the volunteer program in Rome. However, we recommend that volunteers take advantage of the very affordable language lessons offered exclusively to IVHQ volunteers by our local team in Italy. Volunteers find that taking these lessons helps immensely with day-to-day volunteer work and communicating with local people. Volunteers interested in taking Italian language lessons can arrange these directly with the local team once in Italy.
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Safety and support
IVHQ follows best practice and industry-leading health and safety procedures, which are regularly reviewed and optimized as part of the B Corporation recertification.
- All volunteers encouraged to complete our interactive pre-departure training.
- All local teams trained on best practice volunteer management & First Aid.
- All IVHQ programs are required to adhere to IVHQ's Risk Management Policy.
- All volunteers have access to 24/7 in-country support from our local team.
Protecting against COVID-19:
Volunteers tested for COVID-19 within 72 hours of travel
Health & safety information provided during orientation
Strict disinfecting standards for programs & accomodation
Greater physical distance between volunteers
Essential country information
Weather and climate
Italy’s climate is quite diverse due to its long peninsula and mountainous terrain. The coastal areas of Liguria, Tuscany and most of the South are predominantly Mediterranean with dry summers and moderately wet winters. In the northern parts of Italy and areas of higher altitudes, the climate is cooler and the winter months can be cold, wet, and often snowy. Weather in Rome, where the IVHQ volunteer program is based, is pleasant throughout the year. Winter temperatures in Rome (December to February) vary from 4°C/39°F to 14°C/57°F while spring (March to May) is slightly warmer at around 15°C/59°F. Summer (June to September) in Rome can become very hot and humid with average temperatures ranging between 18°C/64°F and 31°C/89°F. Rainfall is heaviest in November and driest in July.