Volunteer Abroad in Italy

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Volunteering Abroad in Italy

The name Italy brings up so many different images, art, wine, food, museums in Florence, restaurants in Rome, Gondolas in Venice, picture-perfect ancient ruins, and majestic Mediterranean Islands. While all visitors want a taste of it all, some individuals want to do something more meaningful to make an impact on the nation. Volunteering in Italy gives individuals the chance to contribute to the nations needs, while enjoying all the magnificence Italy has to offer.

Geography & Demographics

Italy is a boot-shaped  peninsula in Europe that extends out into the central Mediterranean Sea, northeast of Tunisia. It is bordered by France, Switzerland, Austria, and Slovenia. Within the nations exterior borders, Italy has two independent states, San Marino and Vatican City. The capital city is Rome, which has the highest population at over two and half million people. The nation’s other most populous cities are Milan, Napoli, Torino, and Palermo.

Christianity is the country’s main religion, predominantly are Roman Catholics.  Rome, the Eternal City has always been a religious capital for thousands of years and is still the center point for the world's over one billion Roman Catholics. The city is the perfect place for the faithful travelers.  A visit to the hundreds of churches within Rome, with the amazing number of holy relics could be a pilgrimage all on its own. 

Furthermore, Italians are arguably one ethnic class. For the most parts, ethnic Italian is simply a combination of all the local people on the peninsula at that time and those who arrived due to the wide-reaching net of the Roman Empire. Italians are, therefore, essentially a combination of the indigenous people like the Etruscans and the settlers who arrive at various times, like the Greeks, Jews, Germans, and other Mediterranean people.

The country’s temperature varies  greatly depending on distance from the sea or mountains. In the summer, the northern parts of Italy are warm with occasional rainfall, while the south is often sizzling hot. The temperature is mitigated on the coast by sea breezes and in the Apennines and Alps it is almost always pleasantly cool. While the cities, rich in artistic treasures, are ideal in spring and autumn, winter in the mountains is ideal for skiing. Cold and foggy weather his the Po Plain and the central Apennines during the winter time and mild, slightly warm weather is experienced on the Ligurian coast, the Neapolitan coast, and in Sicilia. 

Italy’s weather is easiest to handle during the Spring, from April to May, or Autumn from September till October. Those who desire leisurely roaming of the city streets, visiting all the aesthetic designs and architecture, will enjoy their excursion most during the cooler months. Peak tourist season starts in June and lasts until August, when the sea becomes warm enough to swim in. During December and April, Italians head off on their own vacations so quite a few shops and restaurants are closed in various cities during this time of the year. Low season can be a great time to visit for those looking for more than a vacation. 

Food & Culture

Food and culture go hand-in-hand in Italy, together defining the nation most infamously. For Italians food is not only for survival, it belongs to the national history and culture as much as Leonardo da Vinci does. Eating, for Italians does not just mean the physical act of satisfying the sensation of hunger. It’s not only calming down the rumbling stomach. The Italian way of eating is synonymous to joviality, of being together as a family, drinking a glass of wine while accepting a slice of salami or a piece of cheese. Most importantly, eating means being able to enjoy the presence of good company. 

Italian Sunday lunches are the best example of the importance of eating in Italy. The great majority of Italians enjoy Sunday meals at home with family, as opposed to eating out. Another pillar of Italian food culture is its regional diversity. Every dish, even the most simple, has roots in the past and particular traditions of the region. For example, in the north a dish made with corn flour called polenta is widely eaten, but it is hardly found in southern regions. Yet polenta is widely known as a staple Italian dish.

Various resources refer to the Italian language as a member of the romance languages, and like other Romance languages, it is the direct offspring of Latin; it was spoken by the Romans, imposed on them by the people in control. Of all the major Roman languages, Italian retains the closest resemblance to Latin.

During the 14th century the Tuscan dialect began to predominate and it was not until the 19th century that the language spoken by educated Tuscans spread to become the language of a new nation. This language shift had a profound impact not only on the political scene but also resulted in a significant social, economical, and cultural transformation. Today, Italian is the official language of Italy and over 90 percent of the population are native speakers. Around 50 percent of the population speak a regional dialect as well.

In Italy, as in most of  Western Europe, the official currency is the Euro. It replaced the Italian Lira in early 2000, and is the sole currency of Italy.

Things to Do

There will never be a moment of boredom in Italy, the culture, the people, and the country have plenty to offer curious volunteers. The pleasant weather, beautiful scenery, and varied terrain are ideal for walking, trekking, and biking, while the many mountainous areas of the country provide some of the best skiing in the world. The fabulous coastline is perfect for sailing and boating activities, and the warm, clear water ideal for snorkeling and diving. Regardless of time of year, volunteers can always fill their free time with language learning.

Volunteering in Italy

Volunteering in Italy will deliver a balance between meaningful service, relaxing beauty, and historical adventures. Thousands of volunteer associations, cooperatives, and foundations are found in Italy. International volunteers frequently live with an Italian host family allowing them to live the Italian lifestyle for the duration of their stay. Working at a local school teaching English is very common in various parts of Italy.

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Volunteering Abroad in Italy


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GoEco was created by experienced volunteers for people who are eager to travel and contribute to the community, wildlife and environment they visit. Based on years of practice and in-depth field reports, GoEco presents you a careful selection of excellent yet affordable volunteer and ecological minded vacations.

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International Volunteer HQ offers affordable, trusted and responsible volunteer abroad programs in Italy! IVHQ volunteers can chose from a wide range of volunteer projects including Teaching English, After School Care, Environmental and NGO Support.


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Spend 15 to 20 hours a week assisting teachers at an Italian school teaching students how to speak and understand the English language. Offered through GeoVisions, participants are paired with local host families where room and board are provided. The program includes in-country staff support and medical insurance.


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Live aboard a historical sailing boat and take part in conservation surveying work with wild dolphin populations. This project is set on the picturesque island of Ischia, in the Tyrrhenian Sea, making this a unique and meaningful experience.

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Experience Italy as a volunteer! Our partnership with teachers and administrators in several small towns in the Pulia region puts you directly in touch with students on a daily basis. Volunteers help plan each day's work using English texts and established lesson plans, reviewing exercises the students have completed and will be studying in the near term. Volunteers also serve as resources on t...


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Berlin  Amsterdam  London  Prague and more... Don't travel alone, join our fun group every July and August to explore Europe with our UK leader. Gapforce Europe is the quality way to experience Europe in 25 days. We use trains to speed us safely and comfortably between cities so you have the maximum time exploring. We are based in London  so will ensure you see all that's new in Europe ...


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Live in Italy for two months to one year and work as an English Conversation Volunteer through Cultural Homestay International. The program requires that participants conduct English language lessons with their host family, in return for their accommodation within the family home. Volunteers also have the chance to pick up some Italian through informal language lessons. Placements are offered i...


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Participants become immersed in Italian culture and language through Siena Italian Studies program which includes impactful service-learning opportunities. Students get to become involved with the unique activities and excursions with locals and community members. Siena Italian Studies offers language programs with volunteer placement components to participants from around the world.


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Travel abroad for less and learn the language of your host family in exchange, you teach them back yours. GoCambio connects millions of people who want to learn or improve the language they are learning with the millions of people who travel in search of unique and independent experiences. So, in exchange for a couple of hours a day helping someone improve the way they communicate in the ...


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Live with an Italian host family and teach them English as part of volunteer placements through InterExchange. Volunteers can choose to live in Ancona, Macerata, Perugia, and many other Italian cities. In return for language lessons, volunteers are provided with food and housing throughout their stay.


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IPSL offers substantive volunteer service programs for students interested in doing summer or semester studies in Italy. They provide enriching service learning and cultural immersion that give students the avenue to create a professional network that will prove valuable in their future career.


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Engage in a cross-cultural volunteering experience with i-to-i UK. Volunteers worldwide can take part in program that provides an opportunity to earn TEFL certification. Italy-based programs are available in Florence and Venice. The programs are open year round, accepting volunteers of any nationality who are fluent in English and above 18 years of age.


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In the heart of Tuscany and a short distance from Florence, Siena is one of the major cultural centers of Italy, making it a perfect destination for SPI Study Abroad’s Italian program! The region is rich in history as Etruscan, Roman, Medieval, and Renaissance influences are visible everywhere. SPI Siena program participants will study the Italian language, culture and history, while experienc...


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The archaeological research project at Monte Testaccio in Rome is one of the most unique historical experiences in the Eternal City. The ArchaeoSpain team, alongside professional archaeologists and archaeology students from the University of Barcelona, will examine the remnants of thousands of amphora shards that make up this artificial mound spanning a city block. On the shards are written ins...