Off-grid living, gardening and wood collecting in the wilderness in Tuscany, Italy

  • Italy
  • Favourited 3429 times
  • Last activity: 01/02/2023




  • Description


    We are looking for volunteers to help improve our 3km ancient stone road and to collect firewood during the last 2 weeks of September.


    We are George, Sophie and our kids Caio (5) and India (3). We are a young family from the UK originally, but living completely off-the-grid in the Parco Nazionale delle Foreste Casentinesi in Tuscany.

    We're passionate about living off-the-grid, building things, hosting guests, baking bread and gardening. We enjoy the peace and the slow pace of living close to nature and the commitment to the work involved.
    We use entirely solar power for our electricity, heat with wood and we source our water from the spring. Because of the limited solar power we do not have large appliances such as a fridge and washing machine. We wash our clothes by hand and store our food using natural methods.

    We grow organic vegetables for our own consumption but occasionally also sell to guests or exchange with friends. We have an Apiary so we produce honey and other bee products. We have a very young fruit orchard and a friendly dairy cow who we will eventually milk once she has her first calf next year.
    The farmhouse is in the middle of a forest 3km from the nearest road and it is only possible to reach the house with a 4x4 vehicle (or of course on foot). We are about a 45min drive from the nearest town so we try to only go into town for shopping etc about once a week. Volunteers should bear this mind when deciding to stay with us. We are very isolated so you should be prepared to enjoy the solitude and peace that this place offers and experience an authentic life in the wilderness.

    We need help with all the general daily task of running a homestead such as...

    Gardening (planting, weeding, watering, soil improvement etc)
    Processing garden produce
    Fruit orchard maintenance
    Caring for our cow
    Collecting firewood from the forest
    House maintenance and DIY
    Maintaining and improving the 3km long road to the house (cleaning ditches, filling holes with gravel and rocks etc)
    Possible house sitting

    As well as learning about and helping with all of the tasks above, we offer the opportunity to learn about everything involved with living 'off-grid' - from sourcing our drinking water from the mountain to producing our own electricity etc.

    All meals are home cooked and eaten together and we eat from the garden as much as possible. Volunteers are invited to help with the cooking and cleaning duties.

    On your days off there are many beautiful hikes to do. For the Monastery of Saint Francis (La Verna), the abandoned village of San Silvestre or to the many waterfalls and natural pools. We are literally in the middle of a forest about 2 hours walk away from the nearest shop or bar. So we offer the ideal opportunity to experience an authentic off-grid life in the nature.

    We look forward to sharing this experience with you!


    Siamo George, Sophie e i nostri figli Caio e India. Siamo una giovane famiglia del Regno Unito che ora vive completamente off-the-grid nel Parco Nazionale delle Foreste Casentinesi in Toscana.

    Siamo appassionati di vivere 'off-grid', costruire cose, ospitare ospiti, fare il pane e fare giardinaggio. Godiamo della pace e del ritmo lento di vivere vicino alla natura e dell'impegno per il lavoro coinvolto.
    Usiamo interamente energia solare per la nostra elettricità, il calore con il legno e ci riforniamo della nostra acqua dalla sorgente. A causa della limitata energia solare non abbiamo grandi elettrodomestici come il frigorifero e il lavatrice. Laviamo i nostri vestiti a mano e conserviamo il nostro cibo con metodi naturali.

    Coltiviamo verdure biologiche per il nostro consumo ma occasionalmente vendiamo anche agli ospiti o scambiamo con gli amici. Produciamo anche miele e altri prodotti delle api. Abbiamo un frutteto molto giovane e una mucca da latte amichevole che alla fine mungeremo una volta che avrà il suo primo vitello l'anno prossimo.

    La casale si trova nel mezzo di un bosco a 3 km dalla strada più vicina ed è possibile raggiungere la casa solo con un veicolo 4x4 (o ovviamente a piedi).Siamo a circa 45 minuti di auto dalla città più vicina, quindi cerchiamo di andare in città solo per lo shopping ecc. Circa una volta alla settimana. I volontari dovrebbero tenerlo a mente quando decidono di rimanere con noi. Siamo molto isolati, quindi dovresti essere pronto a goderti la solitudine e la pace che questo posto offre e sperimentare una vita autentica nel deserto.

    Abbiamo bisogno di aiuto con tutto il compito quotidiano generale di gestire una piccola fattoria come ...
    Giardinaggio (semina, diserbo, irrigazione, miglioramento del suolo, ecc.)
    Lavorazione dei prodotti dell'orto
    Prendersi cura della nostra mucca
    Raccolta della legna da ardere
    Manutenzione della casa e fai da te
    Mantenere e migliorare la strada lunga 3 km per la casa
    House sitting

    Oltre a conoscere e aiutare con tutti i compiti di cui sopra, offriamo l'opportunità di conoscere tutto ciò che riguarda la vita "off-grid" - dall'approvvigionamento della nostra acqua potabile dalla montagna alla produzione della nostra elettricità, ecc.

    Tutti i pasti vengono consumati insieme e cerchiamo di mangiare dal giardino il più possibile. I volontari sono invitati ad aiutare con i compiti di cucina e pulizia.

    Nei vostri giorni liberi ci sono molte belle escursioni da fare. Per esempio... al Monastero di San Francesco (La Verna), al villaggio abbandonato di San Silvestre o alle numerose cascate e pozze naturali. Siamo letteralmente nel mezzo di una foresta a circa 2 ore a piedi dal negozio o bar più vicino. Quindi offriamo l'opportunità ideale per sperimentare un'autentica vita off-grid nella natura.

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    DIY and building projects
    Animal Care
    Farmstay help
    Babysitting and creative play
    Help around the house
    General Maintenance
  • UN sustainablity goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN sustainablity goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN goals
    No poverty
    Zero hunger
    Good health and well-being
    Quality education
    Gender equality
    Clean water and sanitation
    Affordable and clean energy
    Decent work and economic growth
    Industries, innovation and infrastructure
    Reduce inequality
    Sustainable cities and communities
    Responsible consumption and production
    Climate action
    Life below water
    Life on land
    Peace, justice and strong institutions
    Partnerships for the goals
  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Although we are in Italy we're very isolated so it's not the best place for volunteers to come expecting a Italian cultural exchange. We are English.
    We offer the opportunity to learn many life skills from cooking and baking bread to gardening and fixing the roof.
    We live off-the-grid and practice organic gardening and self-sufficiency. So our cultural exchange would be an exchange of lifestyle and knowledge rather than a typical Italian cultural exchange.

  • Projects involving children

    Projects involving children

    This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.

  • Help


    We're looking for enthusiastic volunteers who are passionate about nature, independent, hardworking and enjoy being outside and getting stuck in!

    What you could do here greatly depends on what you're capable of doing. There's also always new stuff to build and old stuff to fix and renovate and it's an ideal playground to the DIY enthusiast.
    Depending on your skills such tasks could be....

    Gardening (planting, weeding, watering, soil improvement etc)
    Processing garden produce
    Fruit orchard maintenance
    Caring for our cow
    Collecting firewood from the forest
    House maintenance and DIY
    Maintaining and improving the 3km long road to the house (cleaning ditches, filling holes etc)
    House sitting
    Painting and decorating
    Carpentry projects
    General manual labour
    General house renovation
    Building and repairing dry stone walls
    Fixing tools and machines

    The garden and house need constant attention and improvement.

    We have a small fruit tree orchard so help could include keeping the grass cut, clearing weeds from the around the trees, watering, and also clearing brambles to make space for to plant new trees.

    A certain points in the year there could be times when we are focusing on one specific working on the road or collecting firewood for winter

  • Languages spoken

    English: Fluent
    Italian: Fluent

  • Accommodation


    You will have a private room in the house. Or your own tent if you prefer.
    You will have access to whole house. There is a separate bathroom for guests.

    The house is off-grid, which means we are not connected to the mains electricity. We only have a small solar panel system - not a problem in summer but it can mean we have limited electricity supply in the spring and autumn months. Our water, comes clean and natural to the house from a nearby spring.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    About the place and your stay...
    We are in a very remote part of east Tuscany called the Casentino. In contrast to the rolling hills, vine yards and the olive groves of what you imagine to be the classic Tuscany, here it is very wild and mountainous and we are surrounded by lush forests. The houses are literally in the middle of the woods within the National Park of the Casentine forests. The houses are reached by a 3km old stone track only accessible on foot or 4x4 vehicle. The houses are fully off grid. Our electricity comes from solar and water is sourced from a natural spring. Hot water is supplied from a wood burning stove. It is an exceptionally peaceful place of untouched natural beauty. The nearest neighbor is a 30min walk away and there is no light pollution, perfect for stargazing and forest-walks. This is a very special place just to be and experience nature.

    Places to visit during your stay....

    La Verna - the medieval monastery of Saint Francis of Assisi. Perched high on a cliff face at the top of the mountain this sacred place is surrounded by some of the oldest and largest trees in the valley in a forest known as the 'foresta encantata' (enchanted forest). It is here where the Saint retreated in his cave and communed with the wildlife and nature and eventually received his stigmata. It is clear to understand why even to this day many pilgrims still visit this sacred wild place for prayer and meditation... or perhaps for some, just simply to enjoy the view!

    Next is the 'abandoned village' of San Silvestre. This once thriving village was deserted after the second world war and since then it has been left open to the destructive forces of nature and has slowly been eaten up by the wilderness. Here trees grow from the middle of the ruins and the only signs of life are the sheep loitering the old lanes and grazing the overgrowth. Although only abandoned this century, the village emanates a feeling of a 'lost civilisation'. Beautiful place for sunset!

    There are several waterfalls and rivers big enough for swimming in the valley. Indispensable on a hot day, these can be reached on foot and will no doubt be visited during your stay with us.


    Please be aware that we are isolated and hard to get to. The house is literally in the middle of the woods, it can only be reached by 4x4 vehicles and of course on foot. It is a place to immerse yourself into nature, explore forests and footpaths and to simply enjoy the peace. Fantastic for walkers. It is not a place to use as a base from where you can easily go on day trips to other tourist cities in Italy.

  • 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 possibly accept pets

    Can possibly accept pets

    This host has said they are willing to accept those travelling with a pet.

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    5 hours a day maximum (max 25hrs/week)

Host ref number: 315467944d17

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