Come and help us building a community at the northern border of Tuscany, Italy

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Italy

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    25/07/2021

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  2021 

 Min stay requested: at least 2 weeks

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  • Description

    Description

    Update 19/07
    Due to a cancellation, we have space available for new workawayers for a few weeks. So if you could only stay for a fortnight or so, no problem!

    IMPORTANT TO READ FIRST BEFORE CONSIDERING JOINING US IN ITALY :
    Our Workaway stay record is now 9 months+. So chances are you'll like it here too...
    But one day we might send you home... ;)

    We want to build a community between those who are still home and those who are already making a difference here.

    - In principle we are only interested in people who can stay for at least 2-3months or more unless you are a container of a number of unique social networking and Instagram skills. Skilled drone pilots traveling with their gear as well can be fit in as short term visitors.

    This being said, we may have extra shorter term opportunities also in between visitors, but than we really want to check with the candidates first if it will be worth the effort of coming all this way.
    - We would need someone 'long term' who has experience in home renovation (final details) and/or really likes working on the land (organic/permaculture development) and in the woods.
    - Unfortunately, due to misconduct of a previous workawayer we no longer receive prime collaboration of the comune for people who want to gain italian citizenship during their stay with us. So sorry for those who were hoping to come to us for that reason, we were willing to help but can no more.

    Note that it is absolutely mandatory to speak good English in order to communicate with us without any problems. If you are a couple, both will need to be able to speak it.

    Who are we: AnneMarie and Jan
    We are a quiet, somewhat older (62-56) Flemish couple living on a mountain top in the Apennines (Italy).
    So when you felt 'locked down' in Covid-19 quarantine, it was like having a picnic to prepare for the kind of living the way we want to shape our community. Self contained, Self supportive and Self sufficient...

    We speak fluent Dutch and English but also Italian (obviously, when you live in Italy). One of these three languages will be what we communicate in. We also master some French, German and Spanish which are to be 'brushed up' again, but we like to practise.
    We are spiritual beings (non religious) and very much involved in meditation, so people who like to (learn to) meditate in group are even more welcome.
    Please note that we do not have television(!) and you have to get your own internet subscription on your telephone as we have cancelled the wifi satellite subscription because of poor quality and extreme high cost. We recommend Iliad 4G subscription for the moment...

    We are looking for: nice quiet people to share part of our lives in harmony together! Especially if you are ready for an introspection period (break year/sabbatical) combined with working in nature and living a healthy lifestyle, than this might be the ideal place to stay.
    These people should be able to do home sitting in case one (or both) of us need to go abroad (even though that is less likely these days). In that case a small car can be at disposal at basic cost price if you don't have one of your own and you are +26 yrs old (necessary for the insurance).

    We also need muscles, brains & ideas. Depending on who comes and weather permits, Jan will prioritize one or another creative direction.
    Muscles: help in the renovation of the house is still the first priority for the moment. But there are also tasks outside on working the land and/or in the woods.
    Brains: video editing & montage, drone recording, Joomla, WordPress & Parallels web building or App development ...
    Ideas: 3D photography, digital marketing, art project promotion
    Artists can help inspire Jan with producing epic ethnic music.
    Note that we expect everybody to help in the house and on the land, even if you are a woman, artist, ...

    What can we offer:
    A separate apartment in the house is available to welcome you. This will have to be shared with another workawayer if there is some overlap in time. We like to welcome the workawayers like family even though you will have your own private quarters in the house.

    We can help with practising several languages (see above).
    AnneMarie can teach Tao Yoga and other meditation techniques. She is busy/interested in alternative medicine.
    She is a good cook and likes to pass on some of her skills, but due to her health this cannot always be guaranteed.

    Jan is an artist in everything he does and likes to share his passion for nature, gardening, landscape arts, photography, making videos, etc. He started an environmental art project. This way he is remodeling the mountain we live on, hence the hard work (see the pictures...)

    Other than being on a healthy retreat, now the worst of corona madness is over, you can join us to all the local festa, concerts or just go on a photographic tour around the area, to the waterfall or to the Pietra di Bismantova where Dante wrote his masterpiece, the Divine Comedy. But realise here we are 'going Dutch'...

    Please note that there are a few important things to consider:
    - Living together in harmony is the most important key phrase. We don't like far-right political ideas (or any other extreme vision for that matter) as they do not suit with our life ethics.
    - The first language in the house is either English or Dutch.
    - No drugs and preferably no smoking either unless if you are respectful enough to not throw your butts anywhere else than in the ashtray... Certainly no smoking in the house!
    - A decent pair of all-weather boots is required to work on the land... unless you come in plain summer.
    - Even though living on a mountain top in Italy may sound like a holiday dream, be aware that it involves hard work and it may be lonely sometimes. If you are a couple, both of you will need to realise that! Make sure what you mean when you say you like nature and gardening.
    - We have a cat and a dog who all live in the house with us even though they don't come into the apartment on the first floor unless you invite them. So if you are allergic to them that will be a major problem.
    - Since we will be living together in the house, the daily housework (in the kitchen or keeping the house clean) is not considered 'workaway work'. We expect you to keep the place clean and nice to live in as if it were your own house.
    - In principle we do not serve alcohol to workawayers, unless for special occasions.
    - Due to practical constraints, unless if you always cook yourself in your own kitchen, we cannot accommodate vegetarian people or people with food allergies. But please realise that we are 'allergic' for people who waste food, showing no respect for nature and the farmer/gardener who put all his/her effort in 'growing your meals' ...
    ---------------------------------
    Jan wants to add:

    Imagine. Just imagine.
    You were a property owner of a 3.6ha estate on a mountain top in Italy, north of Tuscany.
    As you are looking for a challenge... What would you do with it?


    Knowing more and more workawayers consider it an important stop on their life purpose track.
    The more some of them decide about making a major shift in their lives after having been here, while others consider it a springboard to the rest of their life...

    Imagine this property would be yours for your next stop in your personal life. Now throw an environmental artwork in that mix as an invitation to contribute a part of your artistic self.
    What would this mountain look like when you would be leaving, inviting the next one in line?

    36m2 of this mountain will carry your signature, no doubt...
    If ever you wanted to leave a legacy behind in Italy, make sure to hear the silent whisper of the universe calling you to get into action...

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    Art Projects
    Language practice
    Gardening
    DIY and building projects
    Animal Care
    Help around the house
    General Maintenance
    Help with Computers/ Internet

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Learn about living in Italy on a mountain top (including Italian cultural manifestations); learn to meditate; practise languages; learn gardening, landscaping, forest maintenance, cooking, nature photography, ...
    Learn to bake your own bread, make your own yoghurt, milk kefir, kombucha, marmelade, etc. which we make from our own produce or from the local farmer's market.

  • Help

    Help

    Note that help would be appreciated in one or more of the following:
    Gardening and working on the land: organic vegetable garden, keeping fruit trees, recreating garden landscapes, clearing the wood.
    Building: help with interior works: plastering walls, possibly preparing stuff for the electrician, painting, installing doors,...
    Animal care: (mainly if we need to go abroad): take care of the cat and maybe the dog (Sheltie).
    Art project: landscaping design together with Jan, filming with drone, helping on the computer, social networking...
    Web development support: preferably Joomla, Linux experience, Blender, Gimp, Sketchup, i-movie, Final Cut, Aperture, ... Note: we work on 2013 Macs.
    Home sitting if/when we need to travel, this may be planned some time before or it may come up unexpectedly.

  • Languages spoken

    English: Fluent
    French: Fluent
    Italian: Fluent
    Dutch: Fluent
    German: Intermediate
    Spanish: Beginner

  • Accommodation

    Accommodation

    An apartment is available for the workawayers on the first floor with 2 rooms (one is with a sofa-bed), a kitchen and 1 bathroom available. Depending on the situation this can accomodate 2 (couples) workawayers who can share the kitchen and the bathroom.
    In principle lunch is taken all together during the week but due to AnneMarie's health problems the timing is not standard, our 'lunch' is usually between 2 and 4 pm as it is never sure when she will be able to start cooking. If this is a problem you can cook your own in your kitchen. In order for us to have some privacy and time for each other, the other meals during the week are private, as well as on the weekends and holidays.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    The whole area is a heaven for nature photographers, hikers, mountainbikers, skiers, horse people, alpine climbers, via ferrata mountaineering, ... But other than cyclers also motorbikers and trikes love to cruise the curling streets to discover beautiful sights from one mountain top to another.
    Note that there is as good as no public transport in the area, your own car is preferred even though if necessary we can share a small car at basic expense cost.

    In case you wanted a clear view of our 'Big Picture', check the album and count the deer on one of the pics ;)

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

    • Can host families

  • Can host digital nomads

    Can host digital nomads

    We are developing a unique community for digital nomads living, working and/or passing through a national park at the northern border of Tuscany. Looking for a 3.6 ha Italian creative estate on top of a mountain next to it? It's time to express your ideas in a different fashion nobody else could shape! You can join us here in Italy and/or collaborate from home prior to departure and/or after visiting us. The idea is to create and promote a live stream channel to cybercast and project the 'Corona Awards' from our home studios and outdoor theatre. This way, you become one of the 'Speelberg Studios' in our network. Your work will be visible from space as of October 2020 and likely 'projected' somewhere, somehow in summertime... Display us your brilliant ideas that could make a difference in this Corona Hit World. We are looking forward to it from high up in our blue skies. Musician, composer, video editor, animator, drone photographer? You would like to create grass art? What are you waiting for!

  • Space for parking camper vans

    Space for parking camper vans

    As we want to accommodate more Workawayers simultaneously, we entertain the idea to shape more campervan platforms. The first camper visitors joining us, can help us to develop the property and garden rooms accordingly. We provide outdoor power without generator but we have one available... At this time, you will share our private bathroom facilities and help us to develop the outdoor sanitary complex based on your camping experiences. While you are here, you maintain your own gardens and harvest your own food. Please check our general profile for more details.

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    Two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    Max 25 hours a week, 2 days off. At least 5 hours a day but depending on the weather we expect (and give) flexibility. Help may also be needed on weekends.

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Host ref number: 215978545475