A Guide to Volunteering in Italy

Volunteering abroad in Italy is a fantastic opportunity to learn something about Italy, its people, culture and customs, not to mention doing something really worthwhile for local people. This is a really meaningful way to experience the country, doing more than just sightseeing. You will get to sample the food, mix with local people, learn more about the history and culture of the country and do something rewarding.

We list organisations which offer volunteer projects during summer to places like Rome, Milan and Altamur. You will work alongside Italian staff on an English language camp for young people, and/or do arts and crafts activities with people who have a disability. You don’t even need to be an expert in the Italian language as most placements have English speaking staff and language training is provided.  

You will live and work with other young people from around the world gaining new skills, learning new things and making new friends. There are various international organisations and also local charities and NGO's recruiting volunteers year round.


Location of Projects

There are programs available to join throughout Italy and where you are placed really depends on your personal preference or what type of project you would like to join. Each region of Italy offers a different experience, popular places to join programs include Florence, Milan, Roma (Rome), Siena, Sorrento, Torino (Turin), Venice, Bologna, Ferrara, Sicily and Puglia - there are more locations available too. You might also like to view our Europe volunteer opportunities for more options in this region.


How You Can Help

Short and long term placements are available, here we provide a run down of what type of placements are on offer.


Volunteer with Animals in Italy

Wildlife & Conservation Volunteer Programs in Italy

Volunteers are needed to participate on research and protection projects in spectacular locations like the Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise National Parks. You will work in teams monitoring the habitat, researching flora and fauna and helping restore and protect beauty areas. A popular choice for many participants is to volunteer helping marine life like dolphins in the spectacular Mediterranean Sea.

You will get to live and work in a spectacular setting with the aim of helping protect and help the animals who call this area home. Over the past few decades dolphin numbers have been falling dramatically and on these programs you will get to work with experienced staff and marine biologists with research, tracking, ocean/beach clean ups and other tasks.


Community Development Programs in Italy

A lot of voluntary work opportunities in Italy have a focus on work camps and missions in beautiful locations where you will get to help people or build infrastructure to help rural communities. English speaking volunteers are always needed for educational and teaching placements, you could be part of activities helping children and adults learn in a fun environment.

There are regional archaeological units set up throughout the year where you could be excavating, planning or helping reconstruct buildings helping rural communities. Sometimes these types of projects last around 2 weeks. Spending time volunteering in agriculture and living at a local farm is popular, a lot of places offer free accommodation and board in exchange for voluntary work.

This is a great way to fund travels and experience a different way of life, you might be helping harvest crops, looking after animals or doing general maintenance and daily tasks.


Italian Cultural Exchange Programs

Education projects are a great way to give back, there are placements with children at summer camps, schools and on specific after school programs where native speakers are required. The children will be very keen to learn English and hear about where you live and your life - this will be a lot of fun. Creativity is welcomed, you might need to create and run games, sports, songs and other things to help children learn in a structured way.

Some programs have a focus on language, conversation partner exchanges are available where you can volunteer in local schools and communities helping local children learn. Or you could live with a host family improving English language skills whilst you learn Italian. Sometimes you will work around 20 hours per week with lots of free time too to explore your new surroundings. You might like to view our guide to studying in Italy.


Eligibility & How to Apply

  • No Italian is necessary but it is recommend you learn some words and phrases
  • Usually need to be aged 17+
  • Be able to enter Italy on a tourist visa
  • Have an open mind, be open to working in teams and in a new country

Some organisations offer structured packages which include placements, transfers, accommodation, meals, training and support.


Volunteer in Italy for Free

You can volunteer for free in Italy, local organisations need assistance on the ground all year round but sometimes you might need to cover your accommodation and food. Low cost programs are available where you pay a one off sign up fee for registration and then you will be assigned a project/location and a date you need to join by. Some projects are completely free as they are funded through the EU’s Grundtvig Senior Volunteering programme. Flights, accommodation, food, pocket money and an excellent support structure are all included.


Italy Volunteer Reviews

Have you ever been to volunteer in Italy? Would you like to share your experience or review a project/organisation? Contact us today.

"Working on the project was a unique experience – I hope to do many more. Everyone should be a volunteer!" - Ruth, festival project participant in Italy with Concordia

"From this experience I have gained an increased knowledge of looking after the environment and the importance of recycling. I have also learned a lot  of many cultures from around the world. I had the best time of my life. Thank you!" - Patrick, environmental project 

"Very good. The experience for me was wonderful. Although the walks up and down the mountain were hard; and the work was worthwhile. Acquerino reserve is stunning. The volunteers all got a really well together, the food was great and we had a lot of fun in the evenings and on our trip. It’s an experience that will always stay with me and I’ll definitely do it again." - Sarah, environmental project 

“I have learnt to be resilient and am able to cook better. I have also made lots of friends from different countries and I will also remember the experience forever. Being in a small town in Italy, I was able to be a part of and learn the true Italian lifestyle and I was able to see the true community of the town.” - Rebecca 


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